May 30, 2018

Facebook Testing and Verification request for proposals



    Testing and verification research is increasingly having profound real world impact, yet there remain many open scientific challenges, the solution of which may lead to even greater real world impact.

    Facebook is pleased to invite university faculty to respond to a call for research proposals on Testing and Verification (TAV). This is Phase One of Facebook’s funding initiative to support research in Testing and Verification. We anticipate awarding a total of 5 gifts in the $30,000 to $50,000 USD range and a larger number of smaller feasibility study awards (~$10k USD) to enable promising researchers to develop their work further, and to potentially submit to future phases. Larger gifts may become available in future phases of the Facebook TAV Research Funding Program, subject to the outcomes from Phase One. No Facebook data will be provided to award recipients.

    During this proposal cycle, we are interested in soliciting proposals for research that will lead to direct impact on the deployment and real world impact of Testing and Verification techniques in the technology sector. Facebook has had notable success with the deployment of TAV research in tools such as Infer and Sapienz. This call is intended to support further development of TAV research. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

    • Automated fixes, from dynamic or static analyses, including their discovery and verification applied to the fixes
    • Automated test case design (in particular Search Based Software Testing)
    • Catering for and maximising value from so-called flakey (non-deterministic) testing behaviours
    • Debugging support techniques (particularly for mobile and web-based software systems)
    • Genetic improvement, program synthesis, and automated performance improvement
    • Incremental verification and testing techniques
    • Reasoning about distributed and concurrent programs
    • Actionability of reports (e.g., involving context, relevance, debug payload, bug assignment)
    • Generating tests to confirm static analysis reports or inform verification failures
    • Using verification results to focus testing
    • Replication of field failures and reproducibility of test cases
    • Scalable buffer overrun and other security analyses

    One possible source of open problems and challenges for Testing and Verification can be found in the IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM) keynote paper by Mark Harman and Peter O’Hearn, From Start-ups to Scale-ups: Opportunities and Open Problems for Static and Dynamic Program Analysis.

    Additional information

    Winners will be invited to attend a one-day conference co-located with FaceTAV, the annual Facebook Testing and Verification Symposium, in November 2018 at the Facebook UK office, to present and discuss their work. Conference air and hotel travel will be paid for by Facebook in addition to the award.

    Successful awardees will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to openly publish any findings and insights from their work.

    Payment will be made to the proposer’s host university as an unrestricted gift.

    Proposals should include

    We aim to make the process light touch to reduce the burden of preparing an application. Applicants should submit a maximum 2-page proposal. Proposals should focus on the two primary aspects of concern for this call: the scientific contribution and routes to eventual deployment, together with a budget overview, outlining how the proposed funding will be used.

    • Summary of the project. Provide a maximum 2-page, clear and concise statement of the scientific contribution and routes to eventual deployment
    • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants. In addition to CVs, please include links to DBLP and/or Google Scholar pages for the proposers involved in the proposed work. Please include information on any previous or current Facebook connections/collaborations (please name the Facebook contacts)
    • A proposed budget description (1 page)

    Timing and dates

    • Applications are now open. Applications close July 27th, 2018, 5:00 pm PST.
    • Notification process: Successful awardees will be notified by email.