Call for Papers 2021 - Special issue

New deadline: July 12th 2021

Taking into account the impact of the pandemic, the 4th International Conference on Reliability, Safety and Security of Railway Systems will be postponed, and is replaced by a special issue of the journal “Formal Aspects of Computing”.

Focusing on the contribution of rigorous and formal methodologies, submitted contributions should address key topics faced by the railway industry such as:

  • improve system safety
  • decrease production costs and time to market
  • reduce carbon emissions and running costs
  • increase the capacity of the railway

Railway systems are now being integrated into larger multi-transport networks. Such systems require an even higher degree of automation at all levels of operation. These trends dramatically increase the complexity of railway applications and pose new challenges in developing novel methods of modelling, analysis, verification and validation to ensure their reliability, safety and security, as well as in supporting novel mechanisms and procedures to help make the case that development processes meet the mandated standards. 

Another particularly important objective is to integrate advances in research into the current development processes, and make them usable and scalable. Finally, a key goal is to develop advanced methods and tools that can ensure that the systems meet the requirements imposed by the regulatory standards and help in building the supportive arguments.

Development of the complex railway systems of the future requires integrated environments and methods that support different abstraction levels and different views, including:

  • systems architecture
  • safety analysis
  • security analysis
  • verification tools and methods

This special issue aims at fostering researchers and engineers interested in building critical railway applications and systems based on formal methods.


Topics of particular interest include:

  • safety in development processes and safety management
  • combined approaches to safety and security
  • system and software safety analysis
  • formal modelling and verification techniques
  • system reliability
  • validation according to the standards
  • safety and security argumentation
  • fault and intrusion modelling and analysis
  • evaluation of system capacity, energy consumption, cost and their interplay
  • tool and model integration, toolchains
  • domain-specific languages and modelling frameworks
  • model reuse for reliability, safety and security
  • modelling for maintenance strategy engineering.


All submitted paper must be in English and formatted according to the Formal Aspects of Computing Guidelines. Preferably, manuscripts should be prepared using LaTeX. FAC’s LaTeX style files can be downloaded on the journal’s website. 

To submit your paper go to the journal submission website. During the submission process, the author must select the RSSRail special issue code sRSSRail2021 and as editor you should select the guest editor Simon Collart-Dutilleul

During the submission process, an acceptation e-mail from the guest editor will be required. Please contact simon.collart-dutilleul(at) (with aeha(at) in copy) at the latest at noon on the day of the submission deadline, providing a short abstract and three keywords. Then he will send you a reply by e-mail.

Be aware that the editors need to identify high quality reviewers (without any conflict of interest with the considered paper). 

In this special issue we expect original articles at "journal level" (and not conference papers) with typically 20-30 pages, but not limited to that. The articles must present high-quality contributions that have not been previously published and that must not be simultaneously submitted for publication elsewhere. Submissions must comply with the author guidelines and the general aims of the journal.

Important dates

  • June 21st, 2021 July 12th 2021– full paper submission deadline
  • September 20th, 2021 – planned first notification
  • November 20th, 2021 – corrected version submission (if required)
  • December 20th, 2021 – 2nd review: final acceptance or rejection
  • January 15th, 2022 – camera-ready papers submitted