Foto 7

Modifica Date Corso - Dr. Alessio Ferrari, ISTI-CNR Pisa – Italy, "Empirical Research Methods in Software Engineering", 13-21 September 2023

20 hours (5 credits)


Aula Riunioni del Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione, Via G. Caruso 16, Pisa - Ground Floor

To register to the course, click here

Short Abstract:

Empirical studies in software engineering provide a systematic way of evaluatingEmpirical studies in software engineering provide a systematic way of evaluatingtheories, languages, concepts, tools or methodologies, considering the industrial context in whichthey are applied [1]. The course will prepare students by examining how to plan, conduct andreport on empirical studies in software engineering. The course will cover all of the principalmethods applicable to software engineering (controlled experiments, case studies, surveys,systematic literature reviews, and ethnography) and will describe quantitative and qualitativemethods of analysis, including hypothesis testing and grounded theory. To showcase the differentmethods, the course will critically review representative examples of published work. At the endof the course, the students will be able to approach real-world research problems in a scientificallysound way, and contribute to theory building in software engineering research.

Two versions of this course were delivered: 1) For the MSc and Ph.D students of the University ofFlorence, School of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences in 2020; 2) for the Ph. D. studentsin Smart Computing at the University of Florence, in 2021. The course will be also delivered in Fall2022, again at the University of Florence, and at the Ph. D. in “Ingegneria dell’Informazione” at theUniversity of Pisa. A web version of the course has been made available on YouTube [2]. Thereference book for the course is the handbook from Wohlin et al. [1].

Course Contents in brief:

  1. Overview of Empirical Research Methods in Software Engineering Research
  2. Formulating Research Questions
  3. Data Types, Measurements, Scale
  4. Data Collection Techniques
  5. Building Theories in Software Engineering
  6. Research Strategies: the ABC Framework for Software Engineering
  7. Controlled Experiments
  8. Hypothesis Testing and Statistical Tests
  9. Qualitative Research Methods: Ethnography, Interviews, Grounded Theory
  10. Survey Research in Software Engineering
  11. Case Studies
  12. Systematic Literature Reviews


  1. 13/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  2. 14/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  3. 15/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  4. 18/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  5. 19/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  6. 20/09/2023: 9:30 - 12:30
  7. 21/09/2023: 9:30 - 11:30