Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD, UK.

You are here: Home > Lectures & Seminars > The Third International Workshop on Software Research and Climate Change

The Third International Workshop on Software Research and Climate Change

July 25, 2011

(WSRCC-3 @ ECOOP 2011)

to be held in conjunction with ECOOP 2011:


This workshop explores the contributions that software research can make to the challenge of climate change. Climate change is likely to be the defining issue of the 21st Century. It is now clear that the world is committed to around 2 degrees C average temperature rise during this century.

It is also widely believed that unless urgent and drastic cuts in fossil fuels use are made, further heating is likely to trigger any of a number of climate change tipping points. The results will be a dramatic reduction of food production and water supplies, more extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification, and mass extinction of all life forms. Today we are faced with the twin challenges of mitigation (avoiding the worst climate change effects by rapidly transitioning the world to a low-carbon economy) and adaptation (re-engineering the infrastructure of modern society so that humanity can survive and flourish on a hotter planet).

These challenges are global in nature, and pervade all aspects of society. To address them, we will need researchers, engineers, policymakers, and educators from many different disciplines to come to the table and ask what they can contribute. There are both short-term challenges (such as how to deploy, as rapidly as possible, existing technology to produce renewable energy; how to design government policies and international treaties to bring greenhouse gas emissions under control) and long-term challenges (such as how to complete the transition to a global carbon-neutral society by the latter half of this century). In nearly all of these challenges, software has a major role to play as a critical enabling technology.

So, for the software research community, we can frame the challenge as follows: How can we, as experts in software technology, and as the creators of future software tools and techniques, apply our particular knowledge and experience to the challenge of climate change? How can we leverage the particular intellectual assets of our community - our ability to:

  • think computationally;
  • understand and model complex inter-related systems;
  • build useful abstractions and problem decompositions;
  • manage and evolve large-scale socio-technical design efforts;
  • build the information systems and knowledge management tools that empower effective decision making;
  • develop and verify complex control systems on which we now depend;
  • create user-friendly and task-appropriate interfaces to complex information and communication infrastructures?

In short, how can we apply our research strengths to make significant contributions to the problems of mitigation and adaptation of climate change?

This workshop will be the third in a series, following on from WSRCC-1 held at OOPSLA/Onward! In October 2009 and WSRCC-2 held at ICSE 2010. Our goal is to develop a community of researchers actively engaged in this challenge, and to flesh out a detailed research agenda that leverages existing research ideas and capabilities. Therefore we welcome any kind of response to this challenge statement.

Topics of Interest

We welcome the active participation of software researchers and practitioners interested in any aspect of this challenge. The participants will themselves determine the scope and thrusts of this workshop, so this list of suggested topics is intended to act only as a starting point:

  • requirements analysis for complex global change problems;
  • integrating sustainability into software system design;
  • green IT, including power-aware computing and automated energy management;
  • developing control systems to create smart energy grids and improve energy conservation;
  • developing information systems to support urban planning, transport policies, green buildings, etc;
  • software tools for open collaborative science, especially across scientific disciplines;
  • design patterns for successful emissions reduction strategies;
  • social networking tools to support rapid action and knowledge sharing among communities;
  • educational software for hands-on computational science;
  • knowledge management and decision support tools for designing and implementing climate change policies;
  • tools and techniques to accelerate the development and validation of earth system models by climate scientists;
  • data sharing and data management of large scientific datasets; and tools for creating and sharing visualizations of climate change data.

Important Dates

  • Submission Deadline 5th May 2011, 23:59 (Apia, Samoa time)
  • Notification of Acceptance 15th May 2011
  • Workshop Program Published 20th May 2011
  • WSRCC 2011 Workshop 25th July 201

Workshop Format

Our intent is to create a lively, interactive discussion, to foster brainstorming and community building. Registration will be open to all. The workshop will begin with one or two keynote talks, chosen to frame the challenge problem described above, and suggest possible software engineering research directions in response to it.

The remainder of the day will consist of structured brainstorming sessions, based around an analysis of the intellectual assets and research strengths of the ECOOP research community, and a set of areas of need derived from the challenge statement. The position papers submitted to the workshop will also be used to seed these sessions. We will use breakout groups to allow participants to flesh out specific responses to the challenge, to be presented back to the workshop in a closing plenary session.

Submission Guidelines and Review

We welcome participation of all interested parties: computing professionals, climate and environmental scientists, educators, policy makers, etc. Registration will be open to all. However, we strongly encourage participants to submit (one or more) brief (1-4 pages) responses to the challenge statement, either as:

  • Descriptions of existing research projects relevant to the challenge statement (preferably with pointers to published papers and/or online resources);
  • Position papers outlining potential research projects.

Be creative and forward-thinking in these proposals: think of the future, and think big!

All submitted papers will be circulated to participants in advance of the workshop, via the workshop website. Each submission will be formally assigned to two peers for open review and comments. These reviews will be published on the workshop web site to kick start the discussion process. All participants will be invited to participate in discussion of all papers. The authors will be invited to revise/update/embellish their contributions in response to everyone else's contributions. Previous workshop editions have already identified a number of areas in which software research can address the challenges outlined above. Submissions are encouraged to relate their proposals / positions to these areas or to identify further relevant areas. There will be no formal proceedings published_. Instead, a post-workshop report will be written, which will draw on both the submitted papers and the discussions during the workshop. This report will lay out a suggested agenda for both short-term and long-term research in response to the challenge, and act as a roadmap for subsequent workshops and funding proposals.

Organising Committee

  • Kim Mens, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Jorge Aranda, University of Toronto, Canada;
  • Sophia Drossopoulou, Imperial College, UK;
  • Luis Lamb, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil;
  • Lin Liu, Tsinghua University, China;
  • Jon Pipitone, University of Toronto, Canada;
  • Spencer Rugaber, Georgia Tech, United States;
  • Adrian Schroeter, University of Victoria, Canada;
  • Carla Silva, Universidade Federal da Paraiba, Brazil;
  • Davor Svetinovic, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, UAE;
  • J Barrie Thompson, University of Sunderland, UK

Organizing Committee

Workshop Co-Chairs:

  • Ruzanna Chitchyan, Lancaster University, UK
  • Steve Easterbrook, University of Toronto, Canada
  • Steffen Zschaler, King's College London, UK

Please submit your paper to the lead organiser R. Chitchyan (, with a CC to co-organisers S. Easterbrook ( and S. Zschaler (

Lectures & Seminars

| Home | People | Forthcoming Lectures & Seminars |
| Annual Research Programme | News & Events Archive |

Save this page: delicious logo Digg It Reddit Reddit Facebook Stumble It Stumble It!