QRS 2023 Keynote Speech 1

Recent Advances in Debugging Spreadsheets


In this talk, I discuss automated fault localization in spreadsheets, considering various techniques originating from automated and algorithmic program debugging, like model-based debugging, spectrum-based fault localization, and smell detection using machine learning. I will provide an overview of the current state of work and the experimental results obtained. In addition, I will focus on the most recent research work where we investigated the usability of debugging. In particular, we carried out user studies identifying challenges regarding tool overreliance and the optimal presentation of results to users. We found out that textual feedback from debugging tools is better perceived when compared with other means of presentation. The provided results might also be of interest to other researchers working on software engineering tools and, in particular, debugging support functionality.


Franz Wotawa's avatar
Professor Franz Wotawa Austria

Professor and Head

Institute of Software Technology
Graz University of Technology

Franz Wotawa received an M.Sc. in Computer Science (1994) and a Ph.D. (1996) from the Vienna University of Technology. He is currently a professor of software engineering at the Graz University of Technology. From the founding of the Institute for Software Technology in 2003 to 2009, and starting in 2020, Franz Wotawa has been the head of the institute. His research interests include model-based and qualitative reasoning, theorem proving, mobile robots, verification and validation, and software testing and debugging. Besides theoretical foundations, he has always wanted to close the gap between research and practice. For this purpose, he founded Softnet Austria in 2006, a non-profit organization conducting applied research projects with companies. Since October 2017, Franz Wotawa has been the head of the Christian Doppler Laboratory for Quality Assurance Methodologies for Autonomous Cyber-Physical Systems. Franz Wotawa has written more than 440 peer-reviewed papers for journals, books, conferences, and workshops during his career. He supervised 102 Master’s and 39 Ph.D. students. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Intl for his work on diagnosis. Diagnosis Community in 2016. Franz Wotawa has been a member of various program committees and organized several workshops and special issues of journals. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, the IEEE Computer Society, ACM, the Austrian Computer Society (OCG), the Austrian Society for Artificial Intelligence, and a Senior Member of the AAAI.