CREST 2020 5th Workshop on Formal Reasoning about Causation, Responsibility, & Explanations in Science & Technology

Dublin, Ireland, 25 April 2020

The CREST 2020 workshop is the fifth in a series of workshops addressing formal approaches to reasoning about causation in systems engineering. The topic of formally identifying the cause(s) of specific events - usually some form of failures -, and explaining why they occurred, are increasingly in the focus of several, disjoint communities.

The main objective of CREST is to bring together researchers and practitioners from industry and academia in order to enable discussions how explicit and implicit reasoning about causation is performed. A further objective is to link to the foundations of causal reasoning in the philosophy of sciences and to causal reasoning performed in other areas of computer science, engineering, and beyond.

Previous editions: CREST 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2016.

Today’s IT systems, and the interactions between them, become increasingly complex. Power grid blackouts, airplane crashes, failures of medical devices and malfunctioning automotive systems are just a few examples of incidents that affect system safety. They are often due to component failures and unexpected interactions of subsystems under conditions that have not been anticipated during system design and testing. The failure of one component may entail a cascade of failures in other components; several components may also fail independently. In the security domain, localizing instructions and tracking agents responsible for information leakage and other system attacks is a central problem. Determining the root cause(s) of a system-level failure and elucidating the exact scenario that led to the failure is today a complex and tedious task that requires significant expertise. Formal approaches for automated causality analysis, fault localization, explanation of events, accountability and blaming have been proposed independently by several communities - in particular, AI, concurrency, model-based diagnosis, software engineering, security engineering and formal methods. Work on these topics has significantly gained speed during the last years.

The goals of this workshop are to bring together and foster exchange between researchers from the different communities, and to present and discuss recent advances and new ideas in the field. Click here for the complete call for papers.

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: Wednesday, February 5th, 2020 (extended deadline)
  • Notifications: Saturday, February 29, 2020
  • Papers for post-workshop EPTCS proceedings due: Monday, June 1, 2020




  • Alexander Pretschner, Technical University of Munich, Germany
  • David Landsberg, University College London

Program Committee

  • Armen Aghasaryan, Nokia Bell Labs
  • Ebru Aydin Gol, Middle East Technical University
  • Georgiana Caltais, University of Konstanz
  • Hana Chockler, King's College London
  • Bernd Finkbeiner, Saarbrücken University
  • Ashish Gehani, SRI International
  • Gregor Goessler, INRIA
  • Jean Krivine, CNRS
  • David Landsberg, University College London (co-chair)
  • Alexander Pretschner, Technical University of Munich (co-chair)