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Theory-oriented software engineering

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Show simple item record Stol, Klaas-Jan Fitzgerald, Brian 2015-02-16T12:14:40Z 2015-02-16T12:14:40Z 2015
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract There has been a growing interest in the role of theory within Software Engineering (SE) research. For several decades, researchers within the SE research community have argued that, to become a ‘real’ engineering science, SE needs to develop stronger theoretical foundations. However, so far, the role of theory is neither fully appreciated nor well understood in SE research. Without a good common understanding of what theory is, what it constitutes in SE research, and the various roles it can play in SE research, it is di cult to appreciate how theory building can help to strengthen SE research. In this paper we discuss the importance of theory and conceptualization, and review the key components that comprise a theory. We then present the Research Path Schema (RPS), which is an adaptation of an analytical framework from the social sciences. The RPS defines a research study as consisting of three components: some phenomenon, system or substance that a researcher is interested in; some technique or method to study that substance; and some form of conceptualization or theory that provides an explanation for, or abstraction of the observations made in a study. Di erent research studies have a di erent archetypical ‘architecture,’ depending on the selection of these three components. Consequently, the role of the conceptualization or theory will be di erent for each archetypical study design, or selected research path. We conclude this paper by outlining a number of implications for future SE research, and argue for a Theory-Oriented Software Engineering research perspective, which can complement the recent focus on Evidence Based Software Engineering. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Elsevier en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Science of Computer Programming;101, pp. 79-98
dc.rights Elsevier en_US
dc.rights This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Science of Computer Programming. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Science of Computer Programming, 2015, 101, pp. 79-98,
dc.subject theory-oriented software engineering en_US
dc.subject software engineering research en_US
dc.subject theory fragment en_US
dc.subject theory building en_US
dc.subject empirical research en_US
dc.subject Research Path Schema en_US
dc.title Theory-oriented software engineering en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/article en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.scico.2014.11.010
dc.contributor.sponsor SFI en_US
dc.relation.projectid 10/CE/I1855 en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US
dc.internal.rssid 1582855

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