Call for Challenge Cases

The idea of the challenge track is to provide participants with a set of case studies that tackle relevant SPL problems and challenge the state of the art. The challenge track happens in two phases. In the first phase, there will be a call for cases. The challenge co-chairs will review the submitted cases to ensure that all required information is clearly described. Accepted cases will be part of the official conference proceedings. Authors of the accepted cases must attend the challenge track and participate in the discussion. In the second phase, there will be a call for solutions to the accepted cases and cases from previous years. Submitted case solutions will be peer-reviewed by the challenge program committee. Accepted solutions will also be part of the official conference proceedings. Authors of accepted solutions must present their papers during the conference.

You can check the challenges from previous years on the official website of the challenge track: Proposed challenges should be new and should be kept simple as too complex ones may discourage people from trying to propose solutions.

A case description can be:

  • a particular data set with specific questions, or
  • a call for a solution to a specific problem in a given context.

The following information is required for both types of case descriptions:

For data sets with specific questions:

  • What is your dataset, and how was it obtained?
  • What is the size of the dataset?
  • How can this data be accessed?
  • Do you provide tools to process the data?
  • Provide at least one concrete question you want participants to answer. You can provide multiple questions.
  • For each question, provide the criteria for evaluating an answer/solution.

For calls to solutions:

  • What is the concrete problem you want participants to solve?
  • How can a solution be evaluated? The following are some ideas on how to specify evaluation criteria:
    • Concrete evaluation metrics (e.g., precision, recall, accuracy etc. depending on the problem)
    • Concrete test cases participants can evaluate their solution against (e.g., provide inputs and expected outputs and participants are expected to provide a solution that gets from one point to the other)
    • A list of systems to evaluate their solution against (e.g., a list of C systems that have a large number of nested #ifdefs, because your problem only makes sense in the context of higher-order variability)
    • A reference implementation to compare against, according to particular metrics

Additional requirements for both types of cases:

  • The description should contain the URL of a public repository or artefact page containing all the instructions needed to initiate the case study.
  • Optional: Case authors may include a list of 5 senior PhD students or junior researchers (postdocs or junior professors) who have the expertise required to evaluate submitted solutions. The case authors themselves may be part of this list. The challenge track co-chairs will consider this list when creating the SPLC challenge program committee.

The challenge track co-chairs will select a small but representative set of case studies to be used for the challenge. After the description of accepted cases is finalised, a call for solutions will be released. Please note that case authors cannot submit a solution to their own case study.

Submission Information

If you have a suitable case study, we encourage you to write a short description with all the necessary details and submit this description through EasyChair ( – Challenge Track). Case study proposals have a minimum length of 2 pages and a maximum length of 6 pages, including all references and figures. Submissions must follow the ACM Master Article Template:

Latex users are indicated to use the “sigconf” option, so they are recommended to use the template found in “sample-sigconf.tex”. In this way, authors can place the following latex code at the start of the latex document:


\acmConference[SPLC'22]{26th ACM International Systems and Software Product Line Conference}{12--16 September 2022}{Graz, Austria}

Important Dates (AoE Time)

The following describes the important dates for the whole timeline of the challenge track.

  • Case submission deadline: February 14, 2022
  • Case notification: February 28, 2022
  • Case camera ready: March 7, 2022
  • Call for solutions released: March 11, 2022
  • Solution submission deadline: June 14, 2022
  • Solution notification deadline: June 30, 2022
  • Camera-ready solution papers: July 7, 2022
  • Main Conference: September 14-16, 2022


Laura Semini
University of Pisa, Italy
Xavier Devroey
University of Namur, Belgium


Program Committee

  • Shaukat Ali, Simula Research Laboratory, NOR
  • Paolo Aracaini, National Institute of Informatics, JPN
  • Mikaela Cashman, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA
  • Diego Damasceno, Radboud University, NLD
  • Xavier Devroey, University of Namur, BEL
  • Lea Gerling, University of Hildesheim, DEU
  • Stefania Gnesi, CNR-ISTI Pisa, ITA
  • Jabier Martinez, Tecnalia, ESP
  • Raffaela Mirandola, Politecnico di Milano, ITA
  • Clement Quinton, University of Lille, FRA
  • Laura Semini, University of Pisa, ITA
  • Paul Temple, University of Namur, BEL