Welcome to SEMS 2016

3rd International Workshop on Software Engineering Methods in Spreadsheets

July 4, 2016 | Vienna, Austria

SEMS is the #1 venue for academic spreadsheet research since 2014 (SEMS’14, SEMS’15). This year,  SEMS’16 is going to be co-located with STAF 2016 in Vienna.

Spreadsheets are heavily used in industry as they are easy to create and evolve through their intuitive visual interface. They are often initially developed as simple tools, but, over time, spreadsheets can become increasingly complex, up to the point they become too complicated to maintain. Indeed, in many ways, spreadsheets are similar to “professional” software: both concern the storage and manipulation of data, and the presentation of results to the user. But unlike in “professional” software, activities like design, implementation, and maintenance in spreadsheets have to be undertaken by end-users, not trained professionals. This makes applying methods and techniques from other software technologies a challenging task.

The role of SEMS is to explore the possibilities of adopting successful methods from other software contexts to spreadsheets. Some, like testing and modeling, have been tried before and can be built upon. For methods that have not yet been tried on spreadsheets, SEMS will serve as a platform for early feedback.

The SEMS program will include an industrial keynote, followed by a brainstorming session about the topic, a discussion panel of industrial spreadsheet usage, presentation of short and long research papers and plenty of lively discussions. The intended audience is a mixture of spreadsheet researchers and professionals.


Topics of interest to SEMS ’16 include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Understandability/Maintainability of spreadsheets
  • Error finding/Debugging
  • Modeling with spreadsheets
  • Learnability
  • Alternatives for the spreadsheet interface
  • Comparative studies of spreadsheet environments

If you have doubts on the suitability of your paper, feel free to send us an email: sems16[at]

Keynote Speaker

Sumit GulwaniResearch Manager & Principal Researcher at Microsoft, Redmond. More details on the talk is here.  Slides of the same available [sems16_keynote_pptx | sems16_keynote_PDF].

Submission & Publication

We welcome long research papers (max. 15 pages) as well as short papers (max. 5 pages). Papers should conform to the Springer LNCS style.

Submit your papers via SEMS’16 EasyChair Link.

Accepted papers will be published in STAF Post-Proceedings by Springer Verlag as part of Lecture Notes in Computer Science series.

Important Dates (all deadlines are anywhere on earth)

Abstract deadline: April 11th
[EXTENDED] Paper deadline: April 18th22nd
Notification of acceptance: May 25th
Camera Ready: June 17th
Workshop: July 4th

Industrial Case-reports

Additionally, we solicit industrial case reports (max. 2 pages) for panel discussions (no particular format required). The industrial case submissions will be reviewed and discussed by the organizers and three members of the program committee in a formal meeting.

Program Committee

  • Martin Erwig, Oregon State University, USA
  • João P. Fernandes, Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal
  • Felienne Hermans, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Birgit Hofer, Graz University of Technology, Austria
  • Richard Paige, University of York, UK
  • João Saraiva, Universidade do Minho, Portugal
  • Peter Sestoft, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Leif Singer, Automattic Inc., USA


  • Jácome Cunha, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal (jacome[at]
  • Daniel Kulesz, University of Stuttgart, Germany
  • Sohon Roy, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

E-mail: sems16[at]

Steering Committee

  • Felienne Hermans, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Richard Paige, University of York, UK
  • Peter Sestoft, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Start Activity/Speaker Title
11:00:00 Welcome
11:10:00 Keynote: Sumit Gulwani, Research Manager & Principal Researcher at Microsoft Spreadsheet Programming Using Examples
12:10:00 Ricardo Teixeira and Vasco Amaral On the emergence of Patterns for Spreadsheets Data Arrangements
12:40:00 Lunch
14:00:00 Jorge Mendes, Kha N. Do and João Saraiva Towards an Automated Classification of Spreadsheets
14:30:00 Jerzy Sikora, Jacek Sroka and Jerzy Tyszkiewicz Programming Communication with the User in Multiplatform Spreadsheet Applications
15:00:00 Thomas Schmitz, Birgit Hofer, Dietmar Jannach and Franz Wotawa Fragment-Based Diagnosis of Spreadsheets
15:30:00 Coffee Break
16:00:00 Felienne Hermans and Tijs Van Der Storm TrueGrid: Code the Table, Tabulate the Data
16:20:00 Martin Gogolla and Antonio Vallecillo Views on UML Interactions as Spreadsheet Queries
16:40:00 Paul Mireault Implementing Nested FOR Loops as Spreadsheet Formulas
17:00:00 Ricardo Moreira SheetGit: a tool for collaborative spreadsheet development
17:20:00 Round Table General Discussion