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Empirical Software Engineering



Master Seminar (Informatics, ITMC, Intelligent Adaptive Systems, Information Systems). Part of the Module “EMSE: Empirical Software Engineering”.


Prof. Dr. Walid Maalej


Mathias Ellmann,A�Zijad KurtanoviA�, Rebecca Tiarks and Natalia Mannov


This seminar has a special focus on empirical methods. We will introduce both qualitative and quantitative methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, content analysis, and experiments and discuss potential applications in software projects. In particular, the seminar discusses the application of empirical methods to software comprehension, collaboration and knowledge sharing in software projects, requirements engineering, and software architecture.

This seminar will represent the exercise part of the module. We will combine the scientific literature survey, case-based teaching method with a gamification approach.


The seminar requires the active participation in two courses:

Seminar Groups

You will have to actively participate in one of the following seminar groups.

GROUP Date Start End Room
EMSE_C Thursday 12:00 14:00 C-221
EMSE_D Thursday 12:00 14:00 D-125

Syllabus and LIST OF Papers (Cases)

DATE Paper/Topic A�

Introduction, rules of the game, presentation skills (Presented by lecturers)


Tobias Roehm, Rebecca Tiarks, Rainer Koschke, Walid Maalej: How do professional developers comprehend software? ICSE 2012: 255-265 (Presented by lecturers)




Paper 1: Swapneel Sheth, Gail E. Kaiser, Walid Maalej: Us and them: a study of privacy requirements across north america, asia, and europe. ICSE 2014: 859-870


Paper 2: Hyunmin Seo, Caitlin Sadowski, Sebastian G. Elbaum, Edward Aftandilian, Robert W. Bowdidge: Programmers’ build errors: a case study (at google). ICSE 2014: 724-734.


Paper 3: Andrew J. Ko, Robert DeLine, and Gina Venolia. 2007. Information Needs in Collocated Software Development Teams. ICSE ’07: 344-353.


Paper 4: Kim, Miryung, Thomas Zimmermann, and Nachiappan Nagappan. “A field study of refactoring challenges and benefits.“A�Proceedings of the ACM SIGSOFT 20th International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering. ACM, 2012.


Paper 5: Patrice Caire, Nicolas Genon, Patrick Heymans, Daniel Laurence Moody: Visual notation design 2.0: Towards user comprehensible requirements engineering notations. RE 2013: 115-124.


Paper 6: Elmar Juergens, Florian Deissenboeck, Benjamin Hummel, and Stefan Wagner. 2009. Do code clones matter? ICSE ’09: 485-495


Paper 7: Emitza Guzman, Walid Maalej: How Do Users Like this Feature? A Fine Grained Sentiment Analysis of App Reviews. RE 2014: 153-162


Paper 8: BarthA�lA�my Dagenais and Martin P. Robillard: Creating and evolving developer documentation: understanding the decisions of open source contributors. In FSE ’10: 127-136.


Paper 9: Laura Inozemtseva and Reid Holmes. Coverage is not strongly correlated with test suite effectiveness. In ICSE 2014: 435-445.


Paper 10: Meiyappan Nagappan, Thomas Zimmermann, and Christian Bird. 2013. Diversity in software engineering research. ESEC/FSE 2013: 466-476.


Questions and Answers, Exam Preparation

Course Material:

  • The papers can be download from the internet.
  • The weekly material including the papers, the presenters slides, and the discussants slides can be accessed onA�MIN-CommSy.
  • Within this workspace please join the group MOBIS – 14 WS – EMSE C orA�MOBIS – 14 WS – EMSE D.A�