Dependable Systems and Applications (DSA)

in Special Issue   Posted on April 13, 2021 

Information for the Special Issue

Submission Deadline: Tue 31 Aug 2021
Journal Impact Factor : 2.450
Journal Name : Journal of Systems and Software
Journal Publisher:
Website for the Special Issue:
Journal & Submission Website:

Special Issue Call for Papers:

Software is an enabler and driving force for growth of the technology industry. Many emerging technologies are highly related to software. However, the dependability problems of software are frequently in the spotlight, including (1) reliability problems – a software bug caused a blackout leaving 50 million people in eight northeastern states in the US and Canada without electricity in 2003, (2) security problems – the data breach at Equifax exposed 147.9 million consumers’ credit information in 2017, and (3) safety problems – deadly Tesla crash of the self-driving model in 2018 and two Boeing 737 crashes in the recent years. As a result, assuring the dependability of software developed using current technologies has become a grand challenge.

This special issue focuses on the quality assurance of dependable systems and their applications. We solicit high-quality work in describing original and unpublished results of theoretical, empirical, conceptual, and experimental quality assurance research at any point in the dependable system life cycle. We also welcome industrial experience and practice in providing quality assurance for dependable systems and applications on various domains, such as transportation, finance, healthcare, IoT, blockchains with smart contracts, and cyber-physical systems with intelligent components – ranging from small implanted medical devices to medium-sized autonomous systems like drones and self-driving cars, to large scale smart cities.

While we encourage authors of top-quality papers accepted by the 8th International Conference on Dependable Systems and Their Applications (DSA 2021) to submit their extended articles, this special issue also has an open call to the research community. Our objective is to (i) provide a summary of research that advances quality assurance for dependable systems and their applications, and (ii) serve as a collection of current state-of-the-art technologies within this content.

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following that focus on dependable systems especially those with intelligent components such as AI or machine learning-based and their applications:

  • Algorithms, Architecture, Framework, and Design Patterns
  • Security, Threats, Privacy, Safety, and Risk Management
  • Fault Tolerance, Survivability, Resilience, Availability, and Performance
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Metrics, Measurement, Assessment, and Prediction
  • Verification, Validation, Testing, Analysis, and Quality Assurance
  • Debugging and Program Repair
  • Formal Methods and Theories
  • Prognostics and Health Management
  • Empirical Studies, Benchmarking, and Industrial Best Practices
  • Applications, Tools, and Automation

Surveys, (systematic) literature reviews, and mapping studies are out of the scope of this special issue and will be desk-rejected.

Important Dates

August 31, 2021 Submission deadline

October 31, 2021 First-round notification

December 1, 2021 Revision due

January 31, 2022 Second-round notification

February 15, 2022 Final submission


All manuscripts and supplementary materials should be submitted through the Elsevier Editorial System at Submissions should be prepared according to the Guide for Authors posted on the journal’s website. Please select VSI:DSA21 for this special issue from the “Choose Article Type” pull-down menu during the submission process.

Submitted papers must be original and must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. We also encourage extensions of conference papers, unless prohibited by copyright, if there is a significant difference in the technical content. Improvements such as adding a new case study or including a description of additional related studies do not satisfy this requirement. A description explaining the difference between the conference paper and the journal submission is required. The overlap between each submission and other articles, including the authors’ own papers and dissertations, should be less than 30%.

For more information about the special issue, contact the guest editors.


The guest editors along with the Editors-in-Chief and the Special Issues Editor will make the final decisions.

Editors in Chief

Professor Paris Avgeriou

Professor David Shepherd

Special Issue Editor

Professor Raffaela Mirandola

Professor W.K. Chan

Guest Editors

  • W. Eric Wong, University of Texas at Dallas, USA (Steering Committee Chair of DSA 2021)
  • Mohammad Zulkernine, Queen’s University, Canada (Program Chair of DSA 2021)
  • Tao Zhang, Macau University of Science and Technology, China (Program Chair of DSA 2021)

W. Eric Wong is a Full Professor and the Founding Director of Advanced Research Center for Software Testing and Quality Assurance (a US National Science Foundation funded Industry/ University Cooperative Research Site) at the University of Texas at Dallas. His research focuses on helping practitioners improve software quality while reducing production cost. In particular, he is working on software testing, program debugging, risk analysis, safety, and reliability. Professor Wong is the recipient of the ICST 2020 (The 13th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation) Most Influential Paper (MIP) award for his paper titled “Using Mutation to Automatically Suggest Fixes for Faulty Programs” which was published at ICST 2010. He is also one of the finalists for JSS 2020 (Journal of Systems and Software) Most Influential Paper for his paper titled “A Family of Code Coverage-based Heuristics for Effective Fault Localization” that was published in Volume 83, Issue 2, 2010. The conference version of this paper received the Best Paper Award at COMPSAC 2007 (The 31st IEEE International Computer Software and Applications Conference). Professor Wong has very significant editing experience including on the JSS Editorial Board for more than ten years and as an Area Editor of JSS since 2017. More details can be found at Professor Wong’s homepage:

Mohammad Zulkernine is a Full Professor and Canada Research Chair in Software Reliability and Security in the School of Computing of Queen’s University, Canada, where he leads the Queen’s Reliable Software Technology research group. He has also been serving as the Graduate Chair of the school. Professor Zulkernine’s research focuses on building reliable and secure software systems for cloud, connected vehicles, mobile operating systems, and Internet of Things. He has published more than 175 papers and led 25 research projects while collaborating in a number of industry-supported multi-university projects including European Union and Canada-Africa international projects. Professor Zulkernine has much experience in journal editing and is currently on the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Reliability. More details can be found at Professor Zulkernine’s homepage:

Tao Zhang is an Associate Professor at Macau University of Science and Technology, China. He received his Bachelor’s in Automation and Master’s in Software Engineering from Northeastern University, China, and his Doctorate in Computer Science from the University of Seoul, Korea. Dr. Zhang spent one year at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. He has published more than 50 papers at top journals and conferences such as TSE, JSS, IST, IEEE Transactions on Reliability, ICSE, etc. He was a guest editor of a JSS special issue on New Generation of Bug Fixing. More details can be found at Professor Zhang’s homepage:

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