Reading assignment for ESE 2014 course


  • Assignment posted on 28 April 2014.
  • Student presentations due on 8 May 2014.
  • Email thread for locking topics starts on 29 April 2014.


Students are supposed to study ESE papers at an early stage of the course to develop their own skills of observing, extracting, evaluating research methods. The course will continue to introduce specific research methods in more detail, but this assignment provides a "casual" means of briefly looking at diverse ESE topics. This will also give us some more ideas about what ESE is generally concerned with these days.


Read at least one ICSE 2013 paper and prepare a 5mins short talk to summarize some elements of empirical research for the given paper. You do not need to address all the items listed below; they may very well be irrelevant for the paper at hand or simply too hard to determine. See the introduction lecture of this course for some of the terms used in the following check list. You are welcome to also discuss other aspects of the paper.

  • Is an established research method used? (Controlled experiment, case study, survey research, …)
  • Does the paper state research questions? (Which?)
  • What kind of research questions are described? (Existence, description, classification, …)
  • What data collection techniques are used? (Questionnaire, program analysis, IDE instrumentation, performance measurement, …)
  • Does the paper use hypotheses? (Which?)
  • Does the paper describe a research theory? (What elements?)
  • Does the paper discuss threads to validity? (Which? What kind of threads?)
  • Does the paper appear to present reproducible research?

Please try to embed all your facts into a short talk that gives the audience enough of an idea about the paper's research domain and problem. Given your level of understanding, your presentation will be somewhat superficial. This is Ok for now. Please note that you are not absolutely required to read and understand the chosen paper in all detail. Focus on the ESE aspects.

Papers for reading exercise

Pick a paper from the ICSE 2013 proceedings. (You should prefer full papers rather than short papers.)

Table of contents available at DBLP:

Table of contents and papers available at ACM DL:

Students of this university have free ACM DL access.

ACM DL access only works inside the uni network. So download your paper when on the network. Most papers are also freely available and simply located with the help of Bing or Google.


Please submit your presentation (.pdf and source format such as .pptx) to svn.

Each student in the course will have a directory in here:

Use your login name as the subdirectory name.

All students of the course have read/write access to the complete students directory.

(Setting up the svn directory is underway.)