Please see this section for the doctoral symposium presentation instructions.

Please see this section for the doctoral symposium program.


The annual ACM/IFIP Middleware conference will include a doctoral symposium, to which all PhD students working on the topics of the Middleware conference are invited to apply. The doctoral symposium will be held prior to the main conference.

The goal of the doctoral symposium is to provide a welcoming and supportive environment where PhD students working in related fields can receive feedback, discuss their work, and prepare to get the most out of their participation in the main conference. All participating students will be offered the opportunity to engage with their peers, as well as with senior academic and industrial members of the Middleware community. This will include the feedback of panel members on the day of the symposium and individual meetings with a personal mentor during the conference. The symposium is open to PhD students at any stage of their studies.

Applicants will be divided into two groups:

  • Early-stage research: students at an early stage of their thesis who are focused on crafting their research proposal and completing background research.
  • Late-stage research: students closer to finishing their thesis or dissertation and thinking about how to present their research, its results, and its impact.

All PhD students carrying out research on middleware topics are invited to submit a position paper to the doctoral symposium. Papers will be peer-reviewed by the symposium’s committee of selected mentors. The criteria for accepting papers includes the extent of the contribution of the work to the field, the originality of the problem, and the overall quality of the position paper. Position papers should fit within the research topics of the Middleware 2021 main conference.


Position papers are limited to 2 pages (for early-stage research students) or 4 pages (for late-stage research students). Students should identify the category they belong to. Submissions must use the same format as for the research papers. The suggested format is detailed on the Middleware 2021 website. Please see the submission format for the research track.

The submissions should include an author name and associated affiliation: the only author should be the PhD student (other contributors, e.g., the PhD student’s advisor(s), can be acknowledged in a separate section at the end). The students should ask a letter of reference from their PhD advisor, which should accompany the submission.

Contributions to the Middleware 2021 Doctoral symposium will appear in the proceedings that supplements the main conference proceedings.

Accepted position paper will lead to a presentation during the doctoral symposium.


  • Submission: Wednesday, September 22 September 29, 2021
  • Notification: Friday, October 1 Monday, October 18, 2021
  • Camera Ready Deadline: Friday, October 8 Monday, October 25, 2021

All deadlines are 23:59 AOE.


Submissions will be handled through HotCRP:


Doctoral students that submit their work to this symposium are strongly encouraged to apply for student travel grants to attend Middleware 2021. Students participating in the doctoral symposium will be given priority for the travel grants.

Please see the conference website for more details about the student travel grant.


We will give you the option to present your work live. The duration of your talk will be 10 minutes, during which you should provide an overview of their work.

Although authors will present their work live, *all authors* are required to upload a 10-minute video of your talk by November 23rd, 2021 (

The video will be streamed during the technical session for authors who cannot present their work live. If you cannot present your work online, you need to inform the Symposium chairs.

Irrespective whether the talk is presented live or broadcasted from the recording, at least one author from each paper must be present to answer questions for the Q&A /discussion period.

For details on extra resources and how to submit and upload videos, please visit and read instructions on video submissions and link sharing. Authors must attend their respective Zoom sessions for the Q&A immediately following their live talk or the broadcast of their video.

Details of video files

Duration: 10 minutes

File format: .mp4 using the H.264 and AAC codecs following YouTube guidelines.

Video quality: at least HD (720p)

Audio quality: please verify that your speech is clear before uploading (you may wish to include subtitles)

Q&A during the session

Authors must attend their respective Zoom sessions for the Q&A immediately following their live talk or the broadcast of their video.

Content of the video recording

Authors should treat the video recording as a direct substitute for a physical presence. Thus, the audio should contain a spoken narration of the presentation, and the accompanying video should include a complete walkthrough of the presentation slides. The presenter is also strongly encouraged to overlay a thumbnail-sized camera feed showing the speaker.

For authors presenting live, please add some 2-3 discussion points to your conclusion slide. For those who choose to broadcast their talk video, please include the discussion points as well and highlight technical details or future work to facilitate questions during the Q&A.


We recommend the following resources to record your video:

ASPLOS 2020 YouTube Channel: Example conference presentation videos.

Remote Video Presentation Guide: Guide for recording presentations with slides and camera overlay.

Guide to Best Practices: Section 3.2 from this ACM guide presents some suggestions of equipment to use.

Open Broadcaster Software is an open-source software for recording videos: scenes can be created which compose the computer screen with a camera feed.

Zoom provides a simple method for recording videos by simply starting a meeting in solitaire, opening the camera and sharing the screen.

PowerPoint also provides a mechanism for recording slides.

Do not hesitate to contact the chairs of your respective track and the general chairs if you have any questions.


Time (EST) Time (CET) Doctoral Symposium (Monday, December 6th)
(8h50-9h00) 14h50-15h00 DS Opening Ceremony
(9h00-10h00) 15h00-16h00 Keynote
Professor Douglas Schmidt
Talk title: Architecting the Systems of the Future: A Research Agenda
(10h00-10h30) 16h00-16h30 Coffee Break
(10h30-11h30) 16h30-17h30 Machine Learning Session
Session chairs: Antonio Barbalace, Sukanya Bhowmik, Paris Carbone, Ruichuan Chen, and Redha Gouicem

1) Jawad Tahir - "Config 2.0: Towards Reinforcement Learning Based Configuration of Stream Processing Systems"
2) Lorena Poenaru-Olaru - "AutoML: Towards Automation of Machine Learning Systems Maintainability"
3)Gizem Nur Karagoz - "Multi-Objective Evolutionary Based Feature Selection Supported by Distributed Multi-Label Classification and Deep Learning on Image/Video Data"
4) Aswathy Ravikumar - "Non-Relational Multi-Level Caching for Mitigation of Staleness & Stragglers in Distributed Deep Learning"

10 minute each – Followed by a joint discussion in a Q/A session
(11h30-13h00) 17h40-19h00 Lunch
(13h00~14h00) 19h00~20h00 Systems Session
Session chairs: Shady Issa, Vasiliki Kalavri, Pierre Olivier, and Marta Patiño

1) Kumseok Jung - "OneOS: A Distributed Operating System for the Internet of Things"
2) Pratyush Agnihotri - "Autonomous Resource Management in Distributed Stream Processing Systems"
3) Hugo Lefeuvre - "FlexOS: Easy Specialization of OS Safety Properties"

10 minute each – Followed by a joint discussion in a Q/A session
(14h00-14h15) 20h00-20h15 Coffee Break
(14h15 - 15h15) 20h15-21h15 Blockchains Session
Session chairs: Etienne Rivière, Valerio Schiavoni, Animesh Trivedi, and Marisol Valls

1) Stefano Loss - "Using Blockchain to provide trusted interoperability to System-of-Systems in Smart Cities context"
2) Vahid Heidaripour Lakhani - "Token-Based Incentive Schemes in Decentralized P2P Storage Networks"
3) Parwat Singh Anjana - "Efficient Parallel Execution of Block Transactions in Blockchain"
4) Andreea Elena Dragnoiu - "Using Blockchain Technology for Software Identity Maintenance"

10 minute each – Followed by a joint discussion in a Q/A session
(15h15-15h30) 21h15-21h30 Closing remarks

Keynote Speaker

Douglas C. Schmidt

Vanderbilt University

Architecting the Systems of the Future: A Research Agenda


Software has become essential to modern life and controls functions as diverse as the capabilities for home appliances, aircraft flight control systems, mobile phones, health care systems, financial transactions, and digital learning. Individuals, organizations, markets, and governments are increasingly dependent on software. Despite advances in computing and software technologies, however, we continue to see headlines about failures related to software, particularly distributed real-time and embedded software.

This presentation will cover investments and advances in research needed to address these issues. In particular, I will discuss how the current notion of software development will be replaced by one where the software pipeline consists of AI and humans collaborating at scale on continuously evolving systems. These software-enabled systems will be even more pervasive than today, with levels of trust commensurate with the importance of the decisions they make.

I will also discuss how software and humans need to become mutually trustworthy peers comprising socio-technical ecosystems, where human expressions of intent are reliably understood and socio-technical platforms enable collaboration at scale, leading to socially resilient, ethical, and unbiased behavior. Advances in compositional correctness and continuous reflection are also needed to allow intelligent systems to learn from experience and continuously improve.

See for more information on this topic.


Dr. Douglas C. Schmidt is the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Computer Science, Associate Provost for Research Development and Technologies, Co-Chair of the Data Science Institute, and a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems at Vanderbilt University. He is also a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where he served as the Chief Technology Officer from 2010 to 2012.

Dr. Schmidt's research covers a range of software-related topics, including patterns, optimization techniques, and empirical analyses of frameworks and model-driven engineering tools that facilitate the development of mission-critical middleware for distributed real-time embedded (DRE) systems and mobile cloud computing applications running over wireless/wired networks and embedded system interconnects. He has published 650+ technical papers and books that have been cited 44,900+ times, his h-index is 87, and he has mentored and graduated over 40 Ph.D. and Masters students.

Dr. Schmidt led the development of ACE, TAO, CIAO, and CoSMIC for the past three decades. These open-source middleware frameworks and model-driven tools constitute some of the most successful examples of software R&D ever transitioned from research to industry, being widely used by thousands of companies and agencies worldwide in many domains, including national defense and homeland security, datacom/telecom, financial services, healthcare, and online gaming.

Dr. Schmidt received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Sociology from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in 1984, 1986, 1990, and 1994, respectively.


For any further questions, please contact the Middleware 2021 Doctoral Symposium chairs.

For the camera-ready instructions, please visit the camera-ready instructions page.

The Middleware conference adheres strictly to the ACM policies against discrimination and harassment.


Events Dates
Abstract Submission May 15th May 22nd, 2021
Full Paper Submission May 22nd June 1st, 2021
Author Notification August 15th August 22nd, 2021
Revised Submissions September 15th, 2021
Notifications of Decisions of Revised Papers September 30th, 2021
Camera Ready October 18th October 25th, 2021


Events Dates
Workshop Proposal Submission May 21st, 2021
Industry Track Abstract Submission May 15th May 22nd, 2021
Industry Track Full Paper Submission May 22nd June 1st, 2021
Doctoral Symposium Submission September 22nd September 29th, 2021
Demo & Poster Submission October 1st, 2021


Events Dates
Abstract Submission November 20th, 2020
Full Paper Submission December 1st, 2020
Author Notification February 28th March 3rd, 2021
Revised Submissions April 2nd April 5th, 2021
Notifications of Decisions of Revised Papers April 30th May 20th, 2021
Camera Ready June 14th July 7th, 2021
Conference December 6th – 10th, 2021