Call for research papers


The International Systems and Software Product Lines Conference (SPLC) is the leading conference on variability and configuration of hardware and software systems. Researchers, practitioners, and educators present and discuss the most recent research breakthroughs, ideas, trends, experiences, challenges and solutions to advance the state-of-the-art. SPLC is ranked as a top conference and for this 25th edition, we strive to continue the success of previous years by welcoming high-quality submissions for the research track.

SPLC started 25 years ago with a focus on software product lines, but by now it has become a main event for numerous closely related areas, such as configurable systems, product configuration, and software variability.

Like recent years, there will be a special issue in a renowned journal and two best paper awards. Each accepted full paper of the research track is considered for the Best Research Paper Award and the authors are encouraged to submit an extended version of their paper to the special issue. The Best Student Research Paper Award is reserved to papers with a PhD student as main author.


Contrary to recent years, these deadlines are firm (indeed, there will be no deadline extension):

  • Abstract submission: April 16, 2021 (mandatory)
  • Paper submission: April 23, 2021 (firm deadline, no extension) 
  • Notification: June 4, 2021
  • Artifact submission: June 18, 2021
  • Artifact notification: July 1, 2021
  • Camera-ready papers: July 9, 2021
  • Conference: September 6-11, 2021


The following is a list of topics of interest to SPLC, but we also invite submissions to related topics. If in doubt, feel free to ask the track chairs (see below).

• AI: genetic algorithms, neural networks, and machine learning for product lines
• Architecture, design, and visualization of product lines
• Dynamic software product lines, reconfigurable systems, (self-)adaptive systems
• Evolution, maintenance, and continuous integration for product lines (e.g., DevOps)
• Formal methods and SPL verification techniques (e.g., program analysis, model checking)
• Green and sustainable technologies for variation
• Human, organizational and social aspects of product lines (e.g., BPM, collaborative modeling and development, cooperative configuration processes, economics, program comprehension)
• Language product lines, and domain-specific and programming languages for product lines
• Multi product lines, program families, product lines of product lines, software ecosystems
• Non-functional properties: modeling, analysis, and optimization (e.g., performance, energy)
• Reverse engineering, variability mining and refactoring (e.g., migration from clone-and-own)
• Recommender systems for configurators and feature models (e.g., CSP/SAT/SMT solvers)
• Specification and modeling of SPL (e.g., domain-specific modeling, model-driven engineering)
• Testing product lines (e.g., product sampling, test-case selection and prioritization, mutations)
• Variability management and variability modeling (e.g., feature models, decision models)


The research track is open to submissions in two categories:

• Full papers describing original results of conceptual, theoretical, empirical, or experimental research. The papers in this category must rely on theoretical or empirical evaluation.
• Short papers describing emerging ideas or outstanding challenges along with possible approaches for resolving them.

Submissions are single blind. This means that you do not need to anonymize your submission or remove author names from the pdf. Each submission will be carefully reviewed by at least three members of the research track program committee. The page limit is 10 pages of content (+ 2 pages for references) for full papers and 5 pages of content (+ 2 pages for references) for short papers. Submissions must adhere to the latest ACM Master Article Template:

Latex users are indicated to use the “sigconf” option, so they are recommended to use the template that can be found in “sample-sigconf.tex”. In this way, the following latex code can be placed at the start of the latex document:


\acmConference[SPLC’21]{25th ACM International Systems and Software Product Lines Conference}{06–11 September, 2021}{Leicester, UK}

The proceedings will be published in the ACM Digital Library. At least one author of each accepted submission must register and participate in SPLC 2021 in order for the submission to be published. Submissions need to be sent using EasyChair:


Authors of accepted research papers are invited to submit the artifacts associated with the paper for evaluation. To do so, they should submit a PDF via Easychair (select the Research Artifacts track). The PDF should contain a stable URL (or DOI) to the artifacts. The URL must contain the steps or general instructions to execute/analyze the artifact. Each artifact submission will be reviewed by at least two reviewers.

According to ACM’s “Result and Artifact Review and Badging” policy, an “artifact” is “a digital object that was either created by the authors to be used as part of the study or generated by the experiment itself [… which can include] software systems, scripts used to run experiments, input datasets, raw data collected in the experiment, or scripts used to analyze results.”

Accepted artifacts will receive one of the following badges on the first page of the paper, table of contents, and in the ACM Digital Library:

Artifacts Evaluated
• Functional: The artifacts are complete, well-documented and allow to obtain the same results as the paper.
• Reusable: As above, but the artifacts are of such a high quality that they can be reused as is on other data sets or for other purposes.

Each accepted research paper associated with an accepted artifact must provide a link to the artifact in the camera-ready version of the paper. The authors must ensure that the artifacts are available from a stable URL or DOI. Please note that these badges exclude proprietary data or tools.


Ina Schaefer

Technische Universität Braunschweig, DE

Maurice H. ter Beek

National Research Council (CNR), IT


  • Mathieu Acher, University of Rennes / INRIA, France
  • Eduardo Almeida, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
  • Paolo Arcaini, National Institute of Informatics, Japan
  • Davide Basile, ISTI-CNR, Pisa, Italy
  • David Benavides, University of Seville, Spain
  • Walter Cazzola, University of Milan, Italy
  • Jane Cleland-Huang, University of Notre Dame, USA
  • Loek Cleophas, TU Eindhoven, The Netherlands & Stellenbosch University, South Africa
  • Philippe Collet, Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, France
  • Maxime Cordy, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Ferruccio Damiani, University of Turin, Italy
  • Alessandro Fantechi, University of Florence, Italy
  • Lidia Fuentes, University of Málaga, Spain
  • José A. Galindo, University of Seville, Spain
  • Øystein Haugen, Østfold University College Halden, Norway
  • Timo Kehrer, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • Axel Legay, UCLouvain, Belgium
  • Malte Lochau, University of Siegen, Germany
  • Roberto Lopez-Herrejon, ETS Montréal, Canada
  • Juliana Alves Pereira, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Gilles Perrouin, University of Namur, Belgium
  • Justyna Petke, University College London, UK
  • Rick Rabiser, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
  • Iris Reinhartz-Berger, University of Haifa, Israel
  • Klaus Schmid, University of Hildesheim, Germany
  • Sandro Schulze, Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Christa Schwanninger, Siemens Healthcare, Germany
  • Christoph Seidl, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Daniel Strüber, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  • Leopoldo Teixeira, Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil
  • Salvador Trujillo, IKERLAN Research Center, Arrasate, Spain
  • Ingrid Chieh Yu, University of Oslo, Norway


  • Xavier Devroey, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Clemens Dubslaff, TU Dresden, Germany
  • Jessie Galasso, University of Montréal, Canada
  • Jacob Krüger, University of Magdeburg, Germany
  • Michael Lienhardt, ONERA, Palaiseau, France
  • Jacopo Mauro, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Kristof Meixner, TU Wien, Austria
  • Leticia Montalvillo, Ikerlan Research Center, Arrasate, Spain
  • Lina Ochoa Venegas, Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Luca Paolini, University of Turin, Italy
  • Clément Quinton, University of Lille, France
  • Luisa Rincón, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali, Colombia
  • Ştefan Stănciulescu, Hitachi ABB Power Grids Research, Switzerland
  • Andrea Vandin, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy