Machine quality assurance for software

Computer Scientists from Freiburg win first place at the International Competition on Software Verification (SV-COMP)

With increasing digitization, the need for quality assurance in software development is also growing in order to reduce failures, errors and security gaps. In practice, quality assurance is a very complex and labor-intensive task, because it must be ensured that the software delivers correct results for all conceivable inputs in all application scenarios. Automating this quality assurance is a goal of the Software Engineering group, Prof. Dr. Andreas Podelski at the Department of Computer Science of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Freiburg.

Quality assurance tools compete annually in the International Competition on Software Verification (SV-COMP). The tools are presented with several thousand computer programs written in the C language and they have to find out whether the computer program has a bug or not.

In recent years, a team led by Dr. Matthias Heizmann and Dr. Daniel Dietsch has developed the "Ultimate Automizer" tool, which reads program codes line by line and independently finds out whether the associated software is correct.

At this year's competition, the Freiburg team was able to beat 27 teams from 10 different countries and win the overall ranking for the third time after 2016 and 2017.

When asked if chatbots like ChatGPT could compete and win in the future, Dr. Heizmann said, "I don't see chatbots as competition. Their weakness is that they often can't distinguish between right and wrong, but in quality assurance it's important to give reliable answers."

The award ceremony took place on April 24, 2023 during the "TACAS" conference (International Conference on Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems) in Paris.


Prof. Dr. Andreas Podelski
Software Engineering
Department of Computer Science
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8241
E-Mail: podelski(at)

Dr. Matthias Heizmann
Software Engineering
Department of Computer Science
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8235
E-Mail: heizmann(at)

Kerstin Steiger-Merx
Representative PR/Marketing
Faculty of Engineering
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8056