Artifact Evaluation

The purpose of the artifact evaluation is to support authors to provide more substantial supplements to their papers so future researchers can more effectively build on and compare with previous work. The Artifact Evaluation Committee (AEC) will read the paper and explore the artifact to give the authors third-party feedback about how well the artifact supports the paper and how easy it is for future researchers to use the artifact.

We will be attributing 3 badges, according to ACM’s artifact guidelines:

  1. Artifact available: available on a publicly accessible archival repository
  2. Artifact functional: documented, consistent, complete, exercisable
  3. Artifact reusable: artifacts are of a quality that significantly exceeds functional; see below

Authors of accepted regular papers and Industrial Experience Reports and Case Studies: are  invited (but nor required) to submit the relevant artifact for evaluation by the artifact evaluation committee (AEC).

Authors of accepted tool papers are required to submit an artifact to the AEC at the functional level.  Acceptance of tool papers is conditional on successful artifact evaluation (different to CAV 2020, authors of tool papers will not be required to submit an artifact along with the initial paper submission).

Members of the artifact evaluation committee and the program committee are asked to use submitted artifacts for the sole purpose of evaluating the contribution associated with the artifact.

Note: artifact evaluation will be single-blind, but paper reviews are double-blind: do not add identifying information to your paper submission.

Important Dates

TBD

Submission Guidelines

A final artifact submission should consist of

  • an abstract
    • that summarizes the artifact and explains its relation to the paper including
    • a URL from which a .zip file containing the artifact can be downloaded – we encourage you to provide a DOI – and
    • the SHA256 checksum of the .zip file (on submission), and,
    • if applicable, a description of any special requirements beyond a VM or Docker image (e.g., cloud-computing resources, certain hardware, etc.), and,
    • if you are aiming for a reusable badge, an explanation why you believe your artifact is reusable, and
  • a .pdf file of the submitted paper.

When uploading your artifact to the URL, please update the SHA256 checksum of the .zip file in the abstract. You can generate the checksum using the following command-line tools.

  • Linux: sha256sum <file>
  • Windows: CertUtil -hashfile <file> SHA256
  • MacOS: shasum -a 256 <file>

Packaging Guidelines

Your artifact .zip file must contain the following elements.

  • The artifact, i.e., data, software, libraries, scripts, etc. required to replicate the results of your paper, in the form of a virtual machine or a Docker image.
    • As the basis of the VM image, please choose commonly used OS versions that have been tested with the virtual machine software and that evaluators are likely to be accustomed to. We encourage you to use https://www.virtualbox.org and save the VM image as an Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) file.
    • The review will be singly blind. Please make sure that you do not (accidentally) learn the identity of the reviewers (e.g., through analytics, logging).
    • We recommend preparing your artifact in such a way that any computer science expert without dedicated expertise in your field can use your artifact, especially to replicate your results. For example, provide easy-to-use scripts and a detailed README document.
    • We encourage the authors to include log files that were produced by their tools, and point to the relevant log files in the README.
    • When possible include source code within your virtual machine image, and point to the most relevant and interesting parts of the source code tree in the README.
  • A LICENSE file. Your license needs to allow the artifact evaluation chairs to download and distribute the artifact to the artifact evaluation committee members and the artifact evaluation committee members must be allowed to evaluate the artifact, e.g., use, execute, and modify the artifact for the purpose of artifact evaluation.
  • A README text file that introduces the artifact to the user and guides the user through replication of your results. Ideally, it should consist of the following parts.
    • We recommend describing the structure and content of your artifact.
    • It should describe the steps to set up your artifact, i.e., how to boot the VM image or how to start the Docker container.
    • We would appreciate it if you would support the reviewers not only for the main review phase but also for the testing phase. To this end, it would be helpful if you would provide instructions that allow installation and rudimentary testing (i.e., in such a way that technical difficulties would pop up) in as little time as possible.
    • Document in detail how to replicate your results of the paper.
      • Please document which claims or results of the paper can be replicated with the artifact and how (e.g., which experiment must be performed). Please also explain which claims and results cannot be replicated and why.
      • Describe in detail how to replicate the results in the paper, especially describe the steps that need to be performed to replicate the results in the paper. To simplify the reviewing process, we recommend providing evaluation scripts (where applicable).
      • Precisely state the resource requirements (RAM, number of cores, CPU frequency, etc.), which you used to test your artifact. Your resource requirements should be modest and allow replication of results even on laptops.
      • Please provide for each task/step of the replication (an estimate) how long it will take to perform it or how long it took for you and what exact machine(s) you used.
      • For tasks that require a large amount of resources (hardware or time), we recommend to provide a possibility to replicate a subset of the results with reasonably modest resource and time limits, e.g., within 8 hours on a reasonable personal computer. In this case, please also include a script to replicate only a subset of the results. If this is not possible, please contact the artifact evaluation chairs early, but no later than before submission.

If you are not in a position to prepare the artifact as above, please contact PC chairs for an alternative arrangement. For instance, if you cannot provide us with a VM that contains licensed software, e.g., Matlab, please contact us, so we can find a solution.

Evaluation Criteria

All artifacts are evaluated by the artifact evaluation committee. Each artifact will be reviewed by at least two committee members. Reviewers will read the paper and explore the artifact to evaluate how well the artifact supports the claims and results of the paper. The evaluation and the awarding of the functional badge is based on the following questions.

  • Is the artifact consistent with the paper and the claims made by the paper?
  • Are the results of the paper replicable through the artifact?
  • Is the artifact complete, i.e., how many of the results of the paper are replicable?
  • Is the artifact well-documented?

Criteria for the “available” badge

To get the available badge, please upload your VM to a repository that provides a DOI, such as Zenodo, figshare, or Dryad and use this DOI link in your artifact submission.

Additional criteria for the “reusable” badge

Artifacts seeking the “reusable” badge need to clear a significantly higher bar than functional artifacts. First, they must be available, i.e., receive an “available” badge. Second, we expect a higher level of quality during the evaluation of the functional level. Third, in addition to the criteria from the functional level, they are evaluated against the following criteria. 

  • Does the artifact have a license which allows reuse, repurposing, and is easy to use?
  • Are all dependencies and used libraries well documented and up to date?
  • Does the artifact README explain how the artifact can be used beyond the paper in sufficient detail?
  • Does the artifact provide documented interfaces for extensions or is the artifact open source?
  • Can the artifact be used in a different environment (e.g., built on another system, used outside of the VM or Docker image, etc.)?

Badge Placement

If your artifact passed the evaluation successfully, you can place one or two badges on your camera-ready version.

  1. Download the appropriate badges (Available, Functional or Reusable) and place them beside your LaTeX files.
  2. Add the LaTeX snippet from below to your document and remove all the blocks that do not apply.
  3. Add your DOI link to the “Available” badge if you received it.

Because LNCS does not provide a standard placement for the badges, you need to experiment a little to find a good place for them. They should be on the first page and not inside the margins (because the margins will be cut by Springer before publication).

You can start with the following Latex snippet.

\documentclass{lncs}
\usepackage{showframe}                  % print page margins, remove when positioning is satisfying
\usepackage{graphicx}                   % necessary for inserting .pdfs 
\usepackage{hyperref}                   % "available" badge is a link to the actual DOI 
\usepackage[firstpage]{draftwatermark}  % free badge placement

\SetWatermarkAngle{0}
%%%%%%%%% Use only one of the four following blocks
% use this block if you received the the "reusable" badge
\SetWatermarkText{\raisebox{12.5cm}{%
  \hspace{0.1cm}%
  \href{https://doi.org/10.1109/5.771073}{\includegraphics{1-available}}% 
  \hspace{9cm}%
  \includegraphics{3-reusable}%
}}

% use this block if you received the "available" and the "functional" badge
\SetWatermarkText{\raisebox{12.5cm}{%
  \hspace{0.1cm}%
  \href{https://doi.org/10.1109/5.771073}{\includegraphics{1-available}}% 
  \hspace{9cm}%
  \includegraphics{2-functional}%
}}

% use this block if you received only the "functional" badge
\SetWatermarkText{\raisebox{12.5cm}{%
  \hspace{10.62977cm}%
  \includegraphics{2-functional}%
}}

% use this block if you received only the "available" badge
\SetWatermarkText{\raisebox{12.5cm}{%
  \hspace{0.1cm}%
  \includegraphics{1-available}%
}}
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% 

An example of the resulting paper is this .pdf.

Artifact Evaluation Committee

TBD