The Learning from Authoritative Security Experiment Results (LASER) workshop will be held virtually on Thursday, February 25, 2021, in conjunction with the Network and Distributed Systems Security (NDSS) Symposium.

The LASER workshop series focuses on learning from and improving cybersecurity experiment results. The workshop strives to provide a highly interactive, collegial environment for discussing and learning from experimental methodologies, execution, and results. Ultimately, the workshop seeks to foster a dramatic change in the experimental paradigm for cybersecurity research, improving the overall quality and reporting of practiced science.

Each year, the LASER committee chooses a slightly different focus and approach to help the community reach the overall goals of the effort.  This year, the LASER workshop invites participation by authors of accepted papers from major cybersecurity conferences to come together to explore and discuss the experimental aspects of their work. Conference papers all too often must focus on research results and contain limited discussion of the experimental aspects of the work (maybe a small section with a few paragraphs at the end of the paper). LASER will provide authors the opportunity to focus on the experimental approaches and methodologies used to obtain their research results.

Presentations of work are by invitation, based on papers accepted to NDSS 2021. LASER will provide authors of accepted papers the opportunity to present and discuss the experimental aspects of their work with other workshop participants and write new published papers that expand on the experimental aspects of their work.

We also invite open participation by others interested in being part of and learning from such discussions and interaction. To participate, simply register for the workshop.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be structured as a true “workshop” in the sense that it will focus on discussion and interaction around the topic of experimental methodologies, execution, and results with the goal of encouraging improvements in experimental science in cybersecurity research. Authors will lead the group in a discussion of the experimental aspects of their work.

Specific areas of interest to LASER include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Research questions and/or hypotheses
  • Experimental methodologies used and/or developed
  • Experiment design
  • Use of simulation, emulation, virtualization, and/or physical testbeds
  • Use of specialized hardware including CPS and IoT devices
  • Modeling of human-behavior characteristics
  • Software tools used and/or developed to perform experimentation
  • Approaches to experiment validation, monitoring, and data collection
  • Datasets used and/or developed to perform experimentation
  • Measurements and metrics
  • Analytical techniques used and/or developed to evaluate experimental results

As a group, authors and other participants will discuss these areas and answer interesting questions such as:

  • Did you use experimentation artifacts borrowed from the community?
  • Did you attempt to replicate or reproduce results of earlier research as part of your work?
  • What can be learned from your methodology and your experience using your methodology?
  • What did you try that did not succeed before getting to the results you presented?
  • Did you produce any intermediate results including possible unsuccessful tests or experiments?

Presentations are expected to be interactive with a substantial amount of time devoted to questions and discussion.

Workshop Papers

Participants in the LASER Workshop will be strongly encouraged to write new papers on their experimental work. The papers will be published in post-workshop proceedings. The new papers will be driven and guided, in part, by the discussions and interactions, and possibly even new collaborations, forged at the workshop.

Draft papers will be due approximately two months after the workshop. The program committee will review papers and provide notifications and feedback one month after submission. Final camera-ready papers will be due approximately one month later.

Important Dates

  • LASER Workshop @ NDSS: February 25, 2021
  • Draft Papers Submitted: April 25, 2021
  • Notifications and feedback: May 25, 2021
  • Final Papers Submitted: June 25, 2021
  • Papers Published: July 25, 2021


  • David Balenson (SRI International)
  • Terry Benzel (USC-ISI)
  • Laura S. Tinnel (SRI International)

Further Information

Please see www.laser-workshop.org for more information about the LASER Workshop. Send questions to [email protected].