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Dagstuhl Seminar 04051

Empirical Theory and the Science of Software Engineering

( Jan 25 – Jan 29, 2004 )

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Software engineering has increasingly come to depend on empirical studies to validate claimed contributions to the field, yet the value of empirical studies is still a source of some controversy. It is very difficult to summarize and organize the knowledge gained from experiments, to clearly state what is known, to understand where the frontier of knowledge is, and to identify the hypotheses that are currently most in need of empirical test. In the mature sciences, these are roles played by scientific theory.

With precious few exceptions, scientific theory (as opposed to mathematical theory) is in short supply in software engineering. Fostering the development of insightful, testable theory is critical to the future of scientific progress, cumulative knowledge, and systematic investigation in software engineering. In this seminar, we will bring together the most thoughtful empirical researchers in software engineering, along with a few scientists from related disciplines with theoretical maturity, such as economics, information systems, sociology, anthropology, and psychology, to 1) discuss the nature of theory in software engineering, and 2) generate theoretical ideas.

  • Kevin Crowston (Syracuse University, US) [dblp]
  • Steve Easterbrook (University of Toronto, CA) [dblp]
  • Thomas Finholt (University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, US)
  • James D. Herbsleb (Carnegie Mellon University, US) [dblp]
  • Pamela J. Hinds (Stanford University, US) [dblp]
  • Audris Mockus (Avaya - Basking Ridge, US) [dblp]
  • Matthias Müller (KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DE)
  • Frank Padberg (KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DE)
  • Dietmar Pfahl (University of Calgary, CA)
  • Lutz Prechelt (FU Berlin, DE) [dblp]
  • David M. Raffo (Portland State University, US)
  • Susan Elliott Sim (University of California - Irvine, US)
  • Janice A. Singer (NRC - Ottawa, CA)
  • Dag Sjøberg (Simula Research Laboratory - Lysaker, NO) [dblp]
  • Walter F. Tichy (KIT - Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DE) [dblp]
  • Marshall W. van Alstyne (Boston University, US)