© 2008

Guide to Advanced Empirical Software Engineering

  • Forrest Shull
  • Janice Singer
  • Dag I. K. Sjøberg

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Research Methods and Techniques

    1. Janice Singer, Susan E. Sim, Timothy C. Lethbridge
      Pages 9-34
    2. Carolyn B. Seaman
      Pages 35-62
    3. Barbara A. Kitchenham, Shari L. Pfleeger
      Pages 63-92
    4. Jyrki Kontio, Johanna Bragge, Laura Lehtola
      Pages 93-116
    5. Mark Müller, Dietmar Pfahl
      Pages 117-152
  3. Practical Foundations

    1. Jarrett Rosenberg
      Pages 155-184
    2. Audris Mockus
      Pages 185-200
    3. Andreas Jedlitschka, Marcus Ciolkowski, Dietmar Pfahl
      Pages 201-228
    4. Norman G. Vinson, Janice Singer
      Pages 229-256
  4. Knowledge Creation

    1. Steve Easterbrook, Janice Singer, Margaret-Anne Storey, Daniela Damian
      Pages 285-311
    2. Dag I. K. Sjøberg, Tore Dybå, Bente C. D. Anda, Jo E. Hannay
      Pages 312-336
    3. Forrest Shull, Raimund L. Feldmann
      Pages 337-364
    4. A. Brooks, M. Roper, M. Wood, J. Daly, J. Miller
      Pages 365-379
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 381-388

About this book


Empirical studies have become an integral element of software engineering research and practice. This unique text/reference includes chapters from some of the top international empirical software engineering researchers and focuses on the practical knowledge necessary for conducting, reporting and using empirical methods in software engineering.

Part 1, ‘Research Methods and Techniques’, examines the proper use of various strategies for collecting and analysing data, and the uses for which those strategies are most appropriate. Part 2, ‘Practical Foundations’, provides a discussion of several important global issues that need to be considered from the very beginning of research planning. Finally, ‘Knowledge Creation’ offers insight on using a set of disparate studies to provide useful decision support.

Topics and features:

• Offers information across a range of techniques, methods, and qualitative and quantitative issues, providing a toolkit for the reader that is applicable across the diversity of software development contexts

• Presents reference material with concrete software engineering examples

• Provides guidance on how to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and report empirical studies, taking into account the common difficulties and challenges encountered in the field

• Arms researchers with the information necessary to avoid fundamental risks

• Tackles appropriate techniques for addressing disparate studies – ensuring the relevance of empirical software engineering, and showing its practical impact

• Describes methods that are less often used in the field, providing less conventional but still rigorous and useful ways of collecting data

• Supplies detailed information on topics (such as surveys) that often contain methodological errors

This broad-ranging, practical guide will prove an invaluable and useful reference for practising software engineers and researchers. In addition, it will be suitable for graduate students studying empirical methods in software development.

Dr. Forrest Shull is a senior scientist at the Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, Maryland, and the director of its Measurement and Knowledge Management Division. In addition, he serves as associate editor in chief of IEEE Software magazine, specializing in empirical studies.

Dr. Janice Singer heads the Human Computer Interaction program at the National Research Council, Canada. She has been conducting empirical research in software engineering for the past 12 years.

Dr. Dag Sjøberg is currently research director of the software engineering group of the Simula Research Laboratory, Norway, which is ranked No. 3 in the world (out of 1400 institutions) in an evaluation in 2007 in the area of software and systems engineering.


Controlled experiment Data analysis Empirical software engineering Experimental software engineering Qualitative research Research methods Simula Simulation Software Engineering design knowledge management

Editors and affiliations

  • Forrest Shull
    • 1
  • Janice Singer
    • 2
  • Dag I. K. Sjøberg
    • 3
  1. 1.Fraunhofer Center MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.National Research Council CanadaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Simula Research LaboratoryNorway

Bibliographic information


"the book does a good job of minimizing the usual problems in a collection of papers by different authors. …There are ample references in each chapter, as well as a bibliography. This is indeed a guide, as it often just points to other sources. It should be very useful to graduate students and researchers engaged in empirical software engineering research."
(Andrew R. Huber, ACM Computing Reviews, February 2009)