The issue of validity threats in empirical software engineering research is important. However, some authors overlook this, focusing on validating their work through application of fundamental testing techniques, instead. However, testing is different to empirical validation, with the latter being more concerned about how experimental conclusions are justified. An important factor that can render an experimental conclusion incorrect is researcher’s bias, which can be especially relevant when setting the experimental parameters. Therefore, consideration of validity threats is essential to enable confidence in research results and assure the research quality. This paper provides a practical approach for mitigating threats to validity in empirical software engineering using a sequence of software activities. The paper is based on a real-world traceability case study for illustration purposes.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Empirical software engineering, Traceability, Validity threats
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/COMPSAC.2019.10227
Conference 43rd IEEE Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2019
Citation
Mustafa, N. (Nasser), Labiche, Y, & Towey, D. (Dave). (2019). Mitigating threats to validity in empirical software engineering: A traceability case study. In Proceedings - International Computer Software and Applications Conference (pp. 324–329). doi:10.1109/COMPSAC.2019.10227