The annual SOFSEM conferences are devoted to the latest results and developments of fundamental research in computer science (informatics), inspired by the algorithmic challenges of our time. SOFSEM has a long tradition as a high-quality research conference, facilitating the scientific interchange among all researchers from academia and industry working on the foundations of computing. SOFSEM is usually held in January or early February. The series of SOFSEM conferences began in 1974.
SOFSEM covers all research areas in the foundations of computer
science and artificial intelligence including e.g.
algorithms (approximation, combinatorial, exact, geometric, online, parameterized, probabilistic, streaming, etc), computational complexity, efficient data structures, discrete optimization, graph structure and algorithms, network science, parallel and distributed computing, parameterized complexity, quantum computing, structural complexity, automata (cellular, finite, networked, etc), AI-based algorithms and techniques, formal models, intelligent algorithms, machine learning theory, multi-agent algorithms, nature-inspired computing, neural network theory, search algorithms, visualization and other relevant theory topics in computing and AI.
Since 1995, the proceedings of the SOFSEM conferences are published in the series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) of Springer. Since 2016, the SOFSEM proceedings are included in the ARCoSS Subline (Advanced Research in Computing and Software Science) of LNCS.
Regularly a special issue of a journal is planned, with a selection of (revised final versions of) papers from the conference.
Online proceedings of Student Research Fora:
Among the annual conferences and symposia in computing, SOFSEM maintains a unique position. With its relatively high number of invited talks and its selected contributed papers on current research, as well as through its wellknown familiar atmosphere, SOFSEM is an appreciable mix of an international symposium and a winter school. It is a proven format, combining the presentations of original, high-quality research with lectures on trending themes in foundations and their, often interdisciplinary, background.
SOFSEM conferences are held in-person. Traditionally housing all participants at the same location, the conference provides an optimal framework for discussions, meetings, research initiatives, new contacts, and socializing. SOFSEM fosters the international co-operation among researchers working in all areas of fundamental computer science and its bordering fields, in all stages of their career. It makes SOFSEM especially attractive for young computer scientists.
SOFSEM focuses on novel research and current developments in all key areas in fundamental computer science and related foundations of artificial intelligence (algorithms, AI-inspired methods, computational complexity, formal models). SOFSEM's list of topics of interest was renewed in 2022 and evolves with the trends in foundational research in computing for every SOFSEM.
Each year the SOFSEM Program Committee determines which of the contributed papers is/are deservant of the Best Student Paper Award and the Best Paper Award of the conference.
Recent SOFSEM Conferences
Earlier SOFSEMs still (partly) online:
SOFSEM conferences can be organized in any European country. The location of SOFSEM x+2 is normally decided at the business meeting of SOFSEM x+1, in January or February of year x+1. Proposals for organizing SOFSEM x+2 are welcomed any time during year x, well ahead of this business meeting. If you/your team is interested in organizing the next SOFSEM, please get in touch with the Steering Committee.
There are separate guidelines for PC chairs and organizers of a SOFSEM conference (pdf, or contact the steering committee). The organizers of the SOFSEM in a given year decide whether they wish to allow for e.g. exhibitions of literature (books, journals), meetings or presentations of national or international research projects, or other special activities. Interested parties should contact the organizing committee for further details.
Code of Conduct
SOFSEM is committed to providing a safe and welcoming conference environment, where ideas can be expressed and exchanged openly and freely, where the rights and dignity of every person and group are respected, and where principles of diversity and inclusion are embraced throughout. SOFSEM subscribes to ACM's open conference statement and to EATCS's anti-discrimination statement.
SOFSEM Steering Committee
The Steering Committee (SC) sees to the continuity of SOFSEM and advises present and future PC chairs and organizers. The Steering Committee consists of 8 members: the PC chairs of three recent SOFSEMs (after 2022, with three-year terms) and five elected members (with five-year terms). The committee can have further, advisory members.
Past advisory board (1993-2004), endowment board (1995-1998) and steering committee members (1998-present) include:
SOFSEM (orig. SOFtware SEMinar) was founded in 1974 as a winter seminar for computer scientists and software engineers in former Czechoslovakia. SOFSEM soon became the foremost national seminar devoted to theoretical and practical problems of software systems. In fact, in these early days of computer science and technology, SOFSEM supplemented the university education and academic research by facilitating a fast transfer of the latest relevant knowledge in computing to its audience. Later on international experts were invited also, to present series of lectures on recent topics. Each SOFSEM consisted of several series of invited lectures of 3 to 5 hours, complemented by selected contributions of participants. Until 1994, the total duration of every SOFSEM was two weeks.
Gradually, SOFSEM transformed from a mainly national seminar into an international conference. After the split of Czechoslovakia in 1993 SOFSEM continued, but now alternating between the Czech and Slovak Republics. SOFSEM became recognized for its high-level invited talks and well-chosen tracks that followed the trends in the field. From 1995 onward, the SOFSEM proceedings were included in the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science of Springer. The duration of SOFSEM was shortened to eight days, and the track areas became more and more fixed for a longer time. As the field matured over the years and international cooperation grew, SOFSEM’s unique role for the Czech and Slovak computer science communities lessened but its international position grew.
In 2016 the SOFSEM Steering Committee mandated that, from then on, SOFSEM conferences could be organized by colleagues anywhere in Europe, i.e. not limited to the Czech or Slovak Republics anymore. The duration of SOFSEM was limited to a week or four days but its format and focus were still left unchanged, with three separate tracks (foundations, software engineering, and data science and engineering), a special theme track (algorithmic computational biology), and a student research forum. In 2022 SOFSEM did not take place, due to the pandemic, but the time was used to prepare SOFSEM for the next major step on its new course, namely focusing the conference fully and undividedly to the foundations of computer science, including its interfaces with closely related areas, especially the foundations of artificial intelligence and data science.
The SOFSEM Steering Committee, c/o
Július Štuller (chair), Institute of Computer Science, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic (email: stuller -at- cs.cas.cz).
Disclaimer This website is intended for academic purposes only.
Last changed: November 2023.