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NASA Formal Methods Symposium 2021 (NFM 2021)

The widespread use and increasing complexity of mission-critical and safety-critical systems at NASA and in the aerospace industry require advanced techniques that address these systems' specification, design, verification, validation, and certification requirements. The NASA Formal Methods Symposium (NFM) is a forum to foster collaboration between theoreticians and practitioners from NASA, academia, and industry. NFM's goals are to identify challenges and to provide solutions for achieving assurance for such critical systems.

New developments and emerging applications like autonomous software for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), UAS Traffic Management (UTM), advanced separation assurance algorithms for aircraft, and the need for system-wide fault detection, diagnosis, and prognostics provide new challenges for system specification, development, and verification approaches. Similar challenges need to be addressed during development and deployment of on-board software for both spacecraft and ground systems.

The focus of the symposium will be on formal techniques and other approaches for software assurance, including their theory, current capabilities and limitations, as well as their potential application to aerospace, robotics, and other NASA-relevant safety-critical systems during all stages of the software life-cycle.

The meeting will be comprised of invited talks by leading researchers and practitioners, a panel discussion on the current status of formal methods, and more specialized talks based on contributed papers.

The NASA Formal Methods Symposium is an annual event organized by the NASA Formal Methods (NFM) Research Group, comprised of researchers spanning six NASA centers. NFM2021 is being organized by the NASA Langley Formal Methods Team.

Topics of Interest

We encourage submissions on cross-cutting approaches that bring together formal methods and techniques from other domains such as probabilistic reasoning, machine learning, control theory, robotics, and quantum computing among others.

  • Advances in formal methods
  • Formal verification, model checking, and static analysis techniques
  • Theorem proving: advances in interactive and automated theorem proving (SAT, SMT, etc.)
  • Program and specification synthesis, code transformation and generation
  • Run-time verification
  • Techniques and algorithms for scaling formal methods
  • Test case generation
  • Design for verification and correct-by-design techniques
  • Requirements generation, specification, and validation
  • Integration of formal methods techniques
  • Use of Machine Learning techniques in Formal Methods
  • Integration of formal methods into software engineering practices
  • Integration of diverse formal methods techniques
  • Combination of formal methods with simulation and analysis techniques
  • Formal Methods in Practice
  • Experience report of application of formal methods in industry
  • Use of Formal Methods in education
  • Verification of Machine Learning techniques
  • Applications of formal methods in the development of:
  • autonomous systems
  • safety-critical systems
  • concurrent and distributed systems
  • cyber-physical, embedded, and hybrid systems
  • fault-detection, diagnostics, and prognostics systems
  • human-machine interaction analysis


  • Conference Chair: Cesar Munoz (NASA) and Ivan Perez (NIA)
  • Program Committee Chairs: Aaron Dutle (NASA), Mariano Moscato (NIA), and Laura Titolo (NIA)


Event Details
Norfolk, VA, USA