Call for Papers

Software visualization is a broad research area whose general goal is to enhance and promote the theory, realization, and evaluation of approaches to visually encode and analyze software systems, including software development practices, evolution, structure, and software runtime behavior. Software visualization is inherently interdisciplinary, drawing on theories and techniques from areas such as information visualization, human-computer interaction, computer graphics, and data science, and applying these in the software engineering domain.

The VISSOFT conference is principally a venue for publishing and discussing research related to software visualization. Consequently, VISSOFT brings together a community of researchers from software engineering, information visualization, human-computer interaction, computer graphics, and data science to discuss theoretical foundations, algorithms, techniques, tools, and applications related to software visualization.

This year's VISSOFT, co-held with ICSME, encourages a variety of submissions that address outstanding challenges in software systems using visualization. This includes technical papers, evaluations, applications/design studies, systems and formalisms, and papers that present novel ideas and tools.

Topics of interest include:

  • Innovative visualization and visual analytics techniques for analysis of software engineering data. This includes source code, dependencies, repositories, developer social networks like StackOverflow and GitHub, mobile app reviews, documentation, runtime logs, and DevOps data.
  • Visualization to support software development activities, including design, requirements engineering, software maintenance, program comprehension, software performance, software testing, and debugging.
  • Interaction techniques and algorithms for software visualization.
  • Visualization-based techniques in software engineering education.
  • Integration of software visualization tools with development environments.
  • Empirical evaluation of software visualizations, including eye-tracking.
  • Industrial experience with using software visualization.
  • Applications of new technologies to enhance software visualization, including virtual reality, augmented reality, gamification, and machine learning.
  • Analytical approaches to understand software-related aspects based on data science concepts.

We solicit papers that present original, unpublished research results. Papers will be rigorously reviewed by an international program committee. In addition to technical papers, VISSOFT features a New Ideas and Emerging Results and Tool Demo (NIER/TD) track. All accepted submissions will appear in the conference proceedings and the IEEE Digital Library.

Submission Types

Technical papers:

A technical paper contribution must describe an in-depth and mature research result relevant to software visualization. The content of a technical paper can be at a maximum 10 pages long (including all figures, tables, and appendices). However, the 10 page limit does not include the bibliography, which is limited by two additional pages.

The submission of a video (up to 5 minutes in length) to accompany the paper is highly encouraged to show interaction possibilities. Authors who wish to submit a video can submit the video together with their paper if the size of the video is smaller than 50 MB, alternatively a URL to the video could be provided.

Authors of technical papers that do not receive an acceptance recommendation from reviewers can, eventually, be invited to adapt the paper and make it acceptable for the NIER/TD track.

Awards: VISSOFT 2021 will award best technical papers.

Special issue: A selection of best papers will be invited to submit extended versions for tentative publication in a Special Section of the journal of Information and Software Technology published by Elsevier

Important dates:
Paper Abstract: June 11, 2021 June 18, 2021
Paper Submission: June 18, 2021
Notification: July 23, 2021
Camera-Ready: August 9, 2021
Conference: September 27-28, 2021

Submission link:

NIER/TD Track:

The NIER/TD Track of VISSOFT accepts two types of contributions: NIER (New Ideas and Emerging Results) and Tool Demonstrations (TD). Both NIER and TD contributions have a page limit of 5 (including bibliography).

NIER contributions describe work-in-progress and preliminary exciting results. Authors are encouraged to include open questions and even provocative hypotheses to get early feedback on their research ideas. A sound evaluation is not required for NIER contributions. One of the goals of the NIER Track is to foster collaboration among different research groups.

Tool Demonstrations (TD) describe the design or actual utilization of software visualization tools, with a focus on the architecture of the tool or its use to gain new insights. During the conference, we will organize an informal tool demonstration session where authors of TD papers are invited to demonstrate their tools. The submission may also contain a link to a screencast (e.g., YouTube or Vimeo) to show the interaction possibilities offered by the tool.

Important dates:
Paper Abstract: June 11, 2021 June 18, 2021
Paper Submission: June 18, 2021
Notification: July 23, 2021
Camera-Ready: August 9, 2021
Conference: September 27-28, 2021

Submission link:

Artifact Track:

This year ICSME, SCAM, and VISSOFT have joined forces and present a single Artifact Evaluation Track for all three venues. The combined AE track will introduce the artifact evaluation for the first time to SCAM! Authors of (short and long) papers accepted in the ICSME, SCAM, or VISSOFT 2021 are invited to submit their artifacts for evaluation to the ICSME 2021 Joint Artifact Evaluation Track here.

Important dates:
Artifact Submission: August 27, 2021
Notification: September 17, 2021

Tool Demo Track:

The tool demo session is an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to present and discuss visualization-related tools in an informal setting.

It is open to authors of VISSOFT papers as well as to authors of visualization-related tools published at ICSME and SCAM from both the current year and the previous year.

Please include in your tool demo proposal:

  • a title,
  • a short description (max. 500 words), and
  • a teaser video (max. 1 min).

In addition to presenting your tool demo at VISSOFT, you have the option to present it at ICSME. If you want to use this option please send a mail with the above-mentioned information to Eleni Constantinou ( and Xavier Devroey (

Important dates:
Tool Demo Submission: September 1, 2021
Notification: September 12, 2021
Presentation (VISSOFT): September 27, 2021
Presentation (ICSME): see

Submission link:

Journal First Track:

A submission to the VISSOFT 2021 call for journal-first paper presentations must adhere to the following criteria:

  • The paper was accepted to a relevant journal and it is in the scope of the conference
  • The paper was published between June 1, 2018, and June 10, 2021.
  • The paper reports new research results and/or presents novel contributions that significantly extend, and were not previously reported in, prior work.
  • The paper has not been presented at, and is not under consideration for, journal-first programs of other conferences.

Authors of a paper that meets these criteria are invited to submit a one-page presentation proposal consisting of the paper's title, the paper's authors, a short statement on how the work satisfies the journal first criteria, and a pointer to the original journal paper at the journal's Web site. If the paper is not online yet, then specify so. The original paper should also be uploaded during submission.

If a submission is accepted for the journal-first program, at least one author of the associated journal paper must register and present the paper at the conference. The journal-first manuscripts are published through the journals and will not be part of the Conference proceedings. The journal-first papers will be listed in the conference program. Journal first presentations will have the same presentation time than technical papers.

Important dates:
Paper Submission: July 2, 2021
Notification: July 23, 2021
Conference: September 27-28, 2021

Submission link:

How to submit

Technical papers must not exceed 10 pages (including figures and appendices) plus up to 2 pages that contain ONLY references. NIER/TD papers must not exceed 5 pages including references. Journal-first presentations must submit a one-page proposal.

Papers must strictly adhere to the two-column IEEE conference proceedings format. Please use the available IEEE Manuscript Templates for Conference Proceedings.

Supplemental material (e.g., video, data, software) that might be helpful for the reviewers can be submitted together with your paper. All material must be included in a single ZIP file.

Note that VISSOFT uses a single-blind review process (i.e., the authors' names and affiliations are revealed to reviewers but reviewers' identities are not revealed to authors). The authors do not need to anonymize their papers.

Most influential paper

Following earlier editions of VISSOFT, we aim to award a Most Influential Paper (MIP) at VISSOFT 2021. MIP papers project leading ideas into our community, having influenced researchers and practitioners significantly throughout the years. The MIP paper award at VISSOFT 2021 will be co-chaired by Alexandre Bergel and Craig Anslow.

Important dates

All dates refer to midnight 23:59:59 AoE.

Technical & NIER/TD Track Journal First Track Tool Demo Track
Paper Abstract: June 11, 2021 June 18, 2021 -- --
Paper Submission: June 18, 2021 July 2, 2021 --
Paper Notification: July 23, 2021 --
Camera-Ready: August 9, 2021 -- --
Tool Demo Submission: -- -- September 1, 2021
Tool Demo Notification: -- -- September 12, 2021
Conference Date: September 27-28, 2021