Experimental software engineering

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Experimental software engineering is a sub-domain of software engineering focusing on experiments on software systems (software products, processes, and resources).[citation needed] It is interested in devising experiments on software, in collecting data from these experiments, and in devising laws and theories from this data. Proponents of experimental software engineering advocate that experimentation is an important method in contributing to accumulation of knowledge in software engineering.

Empirical software engineering is a related concept, sometimes used synonymously with experimental software engineering. Empirical software engineering is a field of research that emphasizes the use of empirical studies of all kinds to accumulate knowledge. Methods used include experiments, variety of case studies, surveys, and statistical analyses.


The scientific method suggests a cycle of observations, laws, and theories to advance science. Experimental software engineering applies this method to software engineering.


Research labs[edit]

There are a number of laboratories at universities, research institutes, and in industry that specialise in empirical and experimental software engineering. These include:

International Software Engineering Research Network (ISERN)[edit]

International Software Engineering Research Network (ISERN) is a global community of research groups who are active in experimental software engineering. Its purpose is to advance the practice of and foster university and industry collaborations within experimental software engineering. ISERN holds annual meetings in conjunction with the International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM) conference.