Empirical Software Engineering (ESE) is a research group at the Department of Computer Science in the University of Helsinki, Finland co-lead by two professors Tommi Mikkonen and Tomi Männistö. The group addresses software engineering research problems and challenges of industrial relevance and origin and has a strong basis in software engineering, particularly software architectures.

The research interests and activities of the group can best be described by the recent and ongoing projects and other activities. These are listed with pointers to further information below.

The group has a recent opening in the area of Programmable World. See e.g., A Roadmap to the Programmable World: Software Challenges in the IoT Era or  a paper about architecting liquid software.

An exciting collaboration is actively being built with the Discovery research group lead by Prof. Hannu Toivonen for the new research area in the intersection between computational creativity and self-adaptive software, with the goal of developing novel software architectures that can creatively adapt themselves in unforeseen situations. See our first paper on this: Aspects of Self-awareness: An Anatomy of Metacreative Systems.

Acadamy of Finland project ​Extreme​ ​Continuous​ ​Experimentation​ ​in​ ​Software​ ​Engineering​ ​(xCESE), 4y starting 2018/09.  Experimentation is a novel, data-oriented way of understanding users and develop software. Some companies already run running hundreds of experiments simultaneously or tens of thousands yearly. We aim at supporting the running of very high numbers of experiments with a theoretically rigorous basis for automating the experiment generation. Ultimately, the automation opens new avenues for creative experiment generators that can explore feature configurations unforeseen by human developers

OpenReq – Intelligent Recommendation & Decision Technologies for community-driven requirements engineering is an Eu Horizon 2020 RIA project started in the beginning of 2017. See the News item on OpenReq.

D4Value is a national project in Finland funded by Tekes and coordinated by DIMECC. The group is participating in the project among the collaborative team from the University of Helsinki, including also the Networking group by Prof. Sasu Tarkoma and Security of Prof. Valtteri Niemi.  

The activities in the area of software architecture include IFIP WG 2.10 Software Architecture and in empirical software engineering the membership in ISERN (International Software Engineering Research Network). A recent paper in that collaboration: Naming the pain in requirements engineering.

The group has strong background in knowledge-based configuration from its very beginning in 1990’s. See e.g., KBC wiki or our paper on Towards a general Ontology of Configuration from times when some of the group members worked at TKK, currently Aalto University.

In the N4S Programme the group has been working on the software engineering paradigm called continuous experimentation in which data from real usage of software is collected and analysed for decision-making in software development. See, CE Cookbook (in a post in our blog with link to download), The RIGHT Model for Continuous Experimentation or Transitioning towards continuous experimentation in a large software product and service development organisation – A case study.

The DD-Scale project that investigated Dynamic Distributed Software Development Competencies. See also: DD-SCALE Project Completed

The group was also active in Cloud Software Programme was a large national programme funded by Tekes (from 2010–2013) and the related FidiPro (Finnish Distinguished Professorship) of Prof. Jürgen Münch in the topic Cloud Software Factory. These initiatives concentrated on utilisation of Cloud infrastructure and transition to Agile software development practices.