181.221 Seminar Formal Methods
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2022S, SE, 2.0h, 3.0EC


  • Semester hours: 2.0
  • Credits: 3.0
  • Type: SE Seminar
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to...

- read scientific papers,
- understand the content as well as the significance of a paper,
- literature research,
- present scientific work in an accessible manner

Subject of course

The seminar covers selected topics in the field of formal methods. The course revolves around seminal research papers in the fields of program analysis, automated reasoning and computer-aided verification.  Each student will be assigned one research paper. The students are expected to read and understand the paper and prepare and present a half-hour talk on the topic. 

Teaching methods

The first objective is to read and understand the content as well as the significance of the assigned paper, and read up on related work if the paper is not self-contained. Prior to preparing the presentation, students are expected to discuss the papers in a meeting with the lecturer.

The objectives of the presentation are to present the topic in a manner accessible for their fellow students. Students are required to present and discuss their slides with the lecturer prior to giving the presentation.

Mode of examination


Additional information


How to give a good talk (by Simon Peyton Jones, given in Vienna, October 2004):


(requires Real Player)

Please consider the plagiarism guidelines of TU Wien when writing your seminar paper: Directive concerning the handling of plagiarism (PDF)



Course dates

Mon11:00 - 12:0014.03.2022 https://tuwien.zoom.us/j/95121006820 (LIVE)Initial Meeting

Examination modalities

Students will be graded based on:

1.) Ability to read and understand the papers assigned to them. The
effort and initiative to independently read and understand the paper
and to read up on related work will determine 50% of the grade. The
students' understanding of the paper will be evaluated during the
meetings with the lecturer and by means of questions after the talk.

2.) Ability to present the material in an accessible way to their fellow
students. The clarity and style of the presentation as well as the
students' effort to prepare the talk (e.g., by designing their own
examples rather than reusing material from the paper) determine 50% of
the grade.

Additional information on grading: The relative difficulty of the
paper will be taken into account. Asking meaningful questions about
the presentations of fellow students will have a positive impact
on the grade (attendance of these talks is compulsory).


ECTS Breakdown:
40 hours for reading papers and related work,
20 hours for preparing the presentation,
15 hours of attending talks and meetings with the lecturer.
75 hours (3 ECTS)


Papers proposed and to be supervised by Katalin Fazekas:

Travis Hance, Marijn Heule, Ruben Martins, Bryan Parno:
Finding Invariants of Distributed Systems: It's a Small (Enough) World After All
NSDI 2021

Rohit Dureja, Arie Gurfinkel, Alexander Ivrii, Yakir Vizel:
IC3 with Internal Signals
FMCAD 2021

Miguel Terra-Neves, Nuno Machado, Inês Lynce, Vasco M. Manquinho:
Concurrency Debugging with MaxSMT
AAAI 2019

Aman Goel, Karem A. Sakallah:
On Symmetry and Quantification: A New Approach to Verify Distributed Protocols
NFM 2021

Katalin Fazekas, Fahiem Bacchus, Armin Biere:
Implicit Hitting Set Algorithms for Maximum Satisfiability Modulo Theories
IJCAR 2018

Papers proposed and to be supervised by George Kenison:

George Kenison, Richard Lipton, Joel Ouaknine, James Worrell:
On the Skolem Problem and Prime Powers
ISSAC 2020

Florian Luca, Joel Ouaknine, James Worrell:
Universal Skolem Sets
LICS 2021

Ezio Bartocci, Laura Kovacs, Miroslav Stankovic:
Automatic Generation of Moment-Based Invariants for Prob-Solvable Loops
ATVA 2019

Andreas Humenberger, Nikolaj Bjorner, Laura Kovacs:
Algebra-Based Loop Synthesis
IFM 2020

Florian Frohn, Marcel Hark, Jurgen Giesl:
Termination of Polynomial Loops
SAS 2020


The topics and the organization of the seminar will be discussed during the initial meeting on Monday, March 14, 11:00 (in a Zoom meeting; link will be sent to all registered participants).

Students signed up for the course who are unable to attend should contact us as soon as possible.

Students are expected to read assigned papers, search relevant literature and prepare scientific presentation on the paper. Students are expected to meet at least twice with their supervisors: once to clarify questions about the paper and to discuss an initial draft of their presentation, and once to discuss the full set of slides and improve the presentation.

Students signed up for the course who are unable to attend should contact us as soon as possible (email george.kenison@tuwien.ac.at).
Electronic versions of the papers will be provided to the students.

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
21.02.2022 11:00 03.05.2022 23:59 03.06.2022 23:59



No lecture notes are available.


  • Attendance Required!