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Seminar Empirical Software Engineering



To gain knowledge of empirical methods and techniques for studying the engineering of software in real-life situation
To perform an empirical study of software engineering


In this course we will perform an empirical study in the area of software engineering. At the start of the course, the lecturer(s) will explain some theory and methods and techniques for performing empirical studies. We will jointly read some papers and discuss these in class.As the course progresses emphasis will be on performing the study by the participants of the course while they are being coached by the lecturers.

In general, Empirical Software engineering aims at developing knowledge about software engineering in practice. Typical research questions are related to the effects of new technologies on the execution of software projects.

The course consists of two parts:
1) During lectures, a number of methods and techniques will be discussed for performing empirical studies in software engineering. These include: case studies, experiments, surveys.
These will be studied based on recent papers.
2) Supported by the lecturers and teaching assistants, students will develop and perform their own empirical studies.


Based on a paper written at the end of the course.


This year’s topic will be to study how professional software engineers reason about the severity of defects in software systems.
To this end, we will first study some papers on defect severity, knowledge modeling using ontologies and on performing interviews. Then, the students have to perform several interviews and do a joint analysis and synthesize this into a joint model with all participants on the course.


  • Guide to Advanced Empirical Software Engineering , by Forrest Shull, Janice Singer, Dag I.K. Sjøberg (Eds), Springer, 2007

  • Papers will be handed out during the course


If you want to join this course, please contact Bilal Karasneh and/or Michel Chaudron: bkarasne at or
Chaudron at