CREST 2018

3rd Workshop on formal reasoning about Causation, Responsibility, and Explanations in Science and Technology

20 April, 2018, Thessaloniki, Greece


The CREST 2018 workshop is the third in a series of workshops addressing formal approaches to reasoning about causation in systems engineering. The topic of formally identifying the cause(s) of specific events - usually some form of failures -, and explaining why they occurred, are increasingly in the focus of several, disjoint communities. The main objective of CREST is to bring together researchers and practitioners from industry and academia in order to enable discussions how explicit and implicit reasoning about causation is performed. A further objective is to link to the foundations of causal reasoning in the philosophy of sciences and to causal reasoning performed in other areas of computer science, engineering, and beyond.

Keynote Speakers

Marielle Stoelinga
Marielle Stoelinga: Big Data Meets Formal Methods in Reliability Engineering
Radboud University Nijmegen & University of Twente, The Netherlands
Jilles Vreeken
Jilles Vreeken: Simply Telling Cause from Effect
Cluster of Excellence MMCI, Saarland Informatics Campus, Germany

Jean Krivine: Causality and Signaling Pathways in Systems Biology of the Cell
Université Paris Diderot, France
Rayna Dimitrova: Causality Analysis for Concurrent Reactive Systems
University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Friday, April 20, 2018

08:00 Registration
08:45 Welcome
09:00 Jilles Vreeken
Keynote: Simply Telling Cause from Effect
10:00 Coffee break
10:30 Rayna Dimitrova
Keynote: Causality Analysis for Concurrent Reactive Systems
11:30 Georgiana Caltais, Sophie Linnea Guetlein and Stefan Leue
Causality for General LTL-definable Properties
12:00 Fausto Barbero and Gabriel Sandu
Team Semantics for Interventionist Counterfactuals and Causal Dependence
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Marielle Stoelinga
Keynote: Big Data Meets Formal Methods in Reliability Engineering
15:00 Hadas Kress-Gazit and Hazem Torfah
The Challenges in Specifying and Explaining Synthesized Implementations of Reactive Systems
15:30 Kevin Baum, Holger Hermanns and Timo Speith
Towards a Framework Combining Machine Ethics and Machine Explainability
16:00 Coffee break
16:30 Jean Krivine
Keynote: Causality and Signaling Pathways in Systems Biology of the Cell
17:30 Closing


Please register via the ETAPS registration site.

Call for Papers

Today’s IT systems, and the interactions between them, become increasingly complex. Power grid blackouts, airplane crashes, failures of medical devices and malfunctioning automotive systems are just a few examples of incidents that affect system safety. They are often due to component failures and unexpected interactions of subsystems under conditions that have not been anticipated during system design and testing. The failure of one component may entail a cascade of failures in other components; several components may also fail independently. In the security domain, localizing instructions and tracking agents responsible for information leakage and other system attacks is a central problem. Determining the root cause(s) of a system-level failure and elucidating the exact scenario that led to the failure is today a complex and tedious task that requires significant expertise. Formal approaches for automated causality analysis, fault localization, explanation of events, accountability and blaming have been proposed independently by several communities – in particular, AI, concurrency, model-based diagnosis, software engineering, security engineering and formal methods. Work on these topics has significantly gained speed during the last years. The goals of this workshop are to bring together and foster exchange between researchers from the different communities, and to present and discuss recent advances and new ideas in the field. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • foundation of causal reasoning about systems in the philosophy of sciences
  • languages and logics for causal specification and causal analysis
  • definitions of causality and explanation
  • causality analysis on models, programs, and/or traces
  • fault localization
  • causal reasoning in security engineering
  • causality in accident analysis, safety cases and certification
  • fault ascription and blaming
  • accountability
  • applications, implementations, tools and case studies of the above

Submissions should be prepared in EPTCS style with a length of up to 15 pages. All contributions must be submitted via the EasyChair submission web site for CREST 2018.
All contributed papers will be reviewed by at least 3 PC members. Revised versions of selected papers will be published as formal post-workshop proceedings in the Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science (EPTCS). At least one of the authors of an accepted paper needs to register for the workshop and present the paper in order for it to be included in the post-workshop proceedings.

Important Dates

  • papers due on Feb 7, 2018
  • notification on March 9, 2018
  • workshop date April 20, 2018 (note that the date has been changed from April 21, 2018 to April 20, 2018)
  • papers for post-workshop proceedings due June 8, 2018

Program Committee

  • Hana Chockler, King’s College London
  • Bernd Finkbeiner, Saarland University (co-chair)
  • Gregor Goessler, INRIA
  • Alex Groce, Oregon State University
  • Stefan Haar, INRIA Saclay / LSV, ENS Cachan
  • Holger Hermanns, Saarland University
  • Samantha Kleinberg, Stevens Institute of Technology (co-chair)
  • Stefan Leue, University of Konstanz
  • Mohammadreza Mousavi, University of Leicester
  • Andy Podgurski, Case Western Reserve Unversity
  • Oleg Sokolsky, University of Pennsylvania
  • Marielle Stoelinga, University of Twente
  • Joost Vennekens, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
  • Sylvain Hallé, Université du Québec à Chicoutimi
  • Joseph Halpern, Cornell University


CREST 2018 will take place as part of the 28th European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software (ETAPS) in Thessaloniki, Greece. ETAPS is the primary European forum for academic and industrial researchers working on topics relating to Software Science.

Image attribution: The Arch of Galerius in Thessaloniki, Greece, seen from the east. By Mark J. Nelson (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

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