Whether Argumentation Works

26 June 2017
Denver, Colorado, USA
(not a DSN 2017 workshop)

Argumentation may work, but this workshop will not
We have had to cancel it because of
an insufficient number of confirmed attendees.

(printable CFP)
As the use of assurance cases has grown, researchers have increasingly stressed the role of explicit argument. Yet while safety cases are broadly thought to be effective, the literature offers neither a precise definition of what it means for assurance argumentation to work nor empirical evidence that they do. The first workshop on Whether Argumentation Works (WAW) invites short position papers and will feature a moderated audience discussion. Participants will collaborate to (1) enumerate the goals and purposes of the various forms of assurance argument, (2) define testable hypotheses that capture what it means for arguments to 'work', and (3) propose, critique, and refine designs for appropriate studies and experiments.
Workshop format
The workshop will comprise keynote addresses, short presentations, and a moderated discussion amongst workshop attendees. To promote a productive discussion, we seek diverse participation by people from industrial, regulatory, or academic backgrounds who are concerned with installations, systems, or software in domains such as transport, military, medical, and process industries.
Position paper topics
Potential workshop participants are invited to submit a short paper addressing one or more of the following topics:
● Identification of the goals and purposes that argumentation is thought to serve in a context or contexts of interest
● Definition of concrete, testable hypotheses that capture what it means for arguments to `work' and underpin policy decisions
● The design of studies or experiments to test such hypotheses
To submit a position paper, point your browser to

Authors of selected position papers will present their position at the workshop before the relevant moderated discussion begins.
Position papers must be written in English and follow the IEEE double-column format. The maximum length is two pages. Templates and instructions are available from:

By submitting a position paper, the authors acknowledge that, if the paper is accepted, at least one author will register for the WAW 2017 workshop and present the paper at the workshop in person.
Workshop proceedings and summary paper
All accepted position papers will be published in the DSN supplemental volume and made available through IEEE Xplore. The workshop organizers will summarize the workshop discussion in a separate paper that will be published following the workshop.

Patrick Graydon is a research computer scientist whose interests are safety and security argumentation, dependable software engineering, and certification.

Michael Holloway is a senior research computer engineer whose primary professional interests concern epistemic issues influencing the level of confidence that may justifiably be placed in the safety of software-intensive systems.

Program Committee

Sushil Birla, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, USA
Paul Caseley, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, UK
Darren Cofer, Rockwell Collins, US
Richard Hawkins, University of York, UK
Barbara Lingberg, Federal Aviation Administration, USA
Virginie Wiels, ONERA, France