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Empirical Research in Software Engineering

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Empirical Research is defined as any research or study where conclusions of the study is precisely drawn from concretely empirical evidence which is verifiable. Empirical Research aims to use statistical testing techniques to test the hypothesis and hence reduces the gap between theory and practice. Importance of Empirical Research: It helps in improving, analyzing and assessing the procedures and processes of software development. It also provides guidelines in decision making. Empirical Research is useful to researchers, academicians and the software industry in different scenarios.
  1. Software Industry: Empirical Study can be used to answer the questions related to industrial practices and can improve the strategies and methods of software development. The predictive models built in Empirical Research can be implemented in similar industrial applications in near future. The empirical research allows software developers to apply the results of the experiment and ascertain that set of good procedures and processes are followed at some point of software development. Thus, the empirical research guides towards determining the best of the resultant software processes and products.

  2. Researchers: According to researchers, the results can be used to provide information about existing guidelines and trends regarding future research. Empirical study is useful in establishing the generalizability of results related to new subjects or data sets by researchers.

  3. Academicians: Empirical research helps academicians in finding answers of their question through interviewing different stakeholders, conducting a scientific experiment or conducting a survey. Academicians make predictions in the form of hypotheses. With the help of empirical research, these hypotheses can be tested, and their results can be shown as either being accepted or rejected. Thus, on the basis of result Academicians can make a conclusion about a particular theory or make some generalization.

Basic elements of Empirical Research:
  1. Purpose: The purpose states the objective of the research, specific motives in the form of research questions, relevance topics and reason of research.

  2. Process: Process gives a detailed sequence of steps need to be taken to conduct a research. It provides a method in which the research will be conducted. It provides details about the methodologies, techniques and procedures to be used in the research.

  3. Participants: Participants are those persons which are involved in the research as subjects. They are closely interviewed to obtain the research results. Ethical issues in Empirical research must be considered when dealing with participants so that they don’t get harmed in any way.

  4. Product: Outcome of research produces Product. The final outcome of Empirical Research provides the answers of the research questions.Any new technique or method can be considered as a product of the Empirical study or research. Few of the examples are conference article, journal paper, thesis, technical report.

Last Updated : 25 Mar, 2020
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