Superproud. That is how UT professor Marielle Stoelinga felt when her PhD student texted that their paper won the best paper award of the conference on Software Engineering & Formal Methods. This paper award was the third award she won with her team this year, in addition to two awards last year.
Does Stoelinga offer advice for fellow researchers? Her insights may be influenced by survival bias, yet her strength lies in thinking outside the box and pursuing unconventional ideas. "I enjoy merging topics from diverse fields. In one winning paper, I combined query languages, typical in databases and state-transition systems, with risk models—uncharted territory. Another collaboration involved integrating a hardware test method with higher-level railroad models, an idea from my PhD student Djurre van der Wal. This ability to see potential in unconventional combinations is why I appreciate working across research fields and faculties. Diverse expertise constantly fuels my creativity," Stoelinga explains.
In collaboration with Stefano Nicoletti, Milan Lopuhaä-Zwakenberg, and Moritz Hahn, Stoelinga received the Best Paper Award at the SEFM Conference for their paper titled "ATM: a Logic for Quantitative Security Properties on Attack Trees." This research explores attack trees as a robust risk model for cybersecurity attacks, focusing on the dissection of intricate cyber threats into manageable steps. The team introduced a query language for attack trees, enhancing analytical capabilities, and applied these methods to nano-satellite cyber-attacks.
In addition to the SEFM Conference accolade, Stoelinga, alongside Djurre Van der Wal and Marcus Gerhold, earned the Best Paper Award at the Formal Methods for Industrial Critical Systems (FMICS) conference. The research, funded by ProRail and Deutsche Bahn, addresses the question of whether railroad components, such as signals, rail crossings and switches, meet their —strict and important— safety requirements. Such requirements can be written down in the EULYX modelling language, a European standard. The team improved the testing capabilities for these EULYNX models, allowing for the verification of a broader range of rail behaviours.
Stoelinga's continued success extends to the Forte Best Artefact Evaluation Award, which she received for her paper: 'With a Little Help from Your Friends: Semi-cooperative Games via Joker Moves'. This paper, on mathematical game theory, explores strategies for situations where winning is uncertain.The team, including Petra van den Bos, demonstrated superior performance in the research artifact, i.e. the software tools and models developed to obtain the paper’s experimental results. Useable and accessible artifacts are crucial when other researchers want to reproduce and extend our results.
These recent accolades complement Stoelinga's previous achievements, including recognition at the AAAI conference, where six out of 9200 submissions received awards. Additionally, she was acknowledged for a 20-year-old scientific publication, underscoring the enduring impact of her contributions to the field