Replication's role in software engineering

Murray Wood, Marc Roper, J. Miller, J. Daly, Andrew Brooks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

36 Citations (Scopus)


We provide motivation for researchers to replicate experiments in software engineering. The ideology of replication is discussed. We address the question: Is an experiment worth repeating? The current lack of replication studies is highlighted. We make clear that exact replication is unattainable and we draw on our first experience of performing an external replication. To categorise various kinds of replication, we propose a simple extension to Basili et al's framework for experimentation in software engineering. We present guidance as to the level of reported detail required to enable others perform a replication. Our conclusion is that there is only one route for empirical software engineering to follow: to make available laboratory packages of experimental materials to facilitate internal and
external replications, especially the latter, which have greater confirming power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGuide to Advanced Empirical Software Engineering
EditorsForrest Schull, Janice Singer, Daj Sjoberg
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781848000438
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • empirical
  • reproducible
  • study replication
  • repeatable
  • experimental


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