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  • Peng, Cong
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Goswami, Prashant
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
    Meaningful Integration of Data from Heterogeneous Health Services and Home Environment Based on Ontology2019In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 19, no 8Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The development of electronic health records, wearable devices, health applications and Internet of Things (IoT)-empowered smart homes is promoting various applications. It also makes health self-management much more feasible, which can partially mitigate one of the challenges that the current healthcare system is facing. Effective and convenient self-management of health requires the collaborative use of health data and home environment data from different services, devices, and even open data on the Web. Although health data interoperability standards including HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and IoT ontology including Semantic Sensor Network (SSN) have been developed and promoted, it is impossible for all the different categories of services to adopt the same standard in the near future. This study presents a method that applies Semantic Web technologies to integrate the health data and home environment data from heterogeneously built services and devices. We propose a Web Ontology Language (OWL)-based integration ontology that models health data from HL7 FHIR standard implemented services, normal Web services and Web of Things (WoT) services and Linked Data together with home environment data from formal ontology-described WoT services. It works on the resource integration layer of the layered integration architecture. An example use case with a prototype implementation shows that the proposed method successfully integrates the health data and home environment data into a resource graph. The integrated data are annotated with semantics and ontological links, which make them machine-understandable and cross-system reusable.

  • Public defence: 2019-05-15 14:35 G340, Karlskrona
    Lännström, Daniel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
    The structure of epsilon-strongly graded rings with applications to Leavitt path algebras and Cuntz-Pimsner rings2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The research field of graded ring theory is a rich area of mathematics with many connections to e.g. the field of operator algebras. In the last 15 years, algebraists and operator algebraists have defined algebraic analogues of important operator algebras. Some of those analogues are rings that come equipped with a group grading. We want to reach a better understanding of the graded structure of those analogue rings. Among group graded rings, the strongly graded rings stand out as being especially well-behaved. The development of the general theory of strongly graded rings was initiated by Dade in the 1980s and since then numerous structural results have been established for strongly graded rings.

     In this thesis, we study the class of epsilon-strongly graded rings which was recently introduced by Nystedt, Öinert and Pinedo. This class is a natural generalization of the well-studied class of unital strongly graded rings. Our aim is to lay the foundation for a general theory of epsilon-strongly graded rings generalizing the theory of strongly graded rings. This thesis is based on three articles. The first two articles mainly concern structural properties of epsilon-strongly graded rings. In the first article, we investigate a functorial construction called the induced quotient group grading. In the second article, using results from the first article, we generalize the Hilbert Basis Theorem for strongly graded rings to epsilon-strongly graded rings and apply it to Leavitt path algebras.  In the third article, we study the graded structure of algebraic Cuntz-Pimsner rings. In particular, we obtain a partial classification of unital strongly, epsilon-strongly and nearly epsilon-strongly graded Cuntz-Pimsner rings up to graded isomorphism.

  • Bertoni, Alessandro
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Introducing value driven design in engineering education: teaching the use of value models in preliminary designIn: International journal of technology and design education, ISSN 0957-7572, E-ISSN 1573-1804Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Methods and approaches for teaching engineering disciplines are evolving to adapt to the

    needs of companies and society. Engineering Design is one of the areas most influenced by

    such changes and constantly striving to develop more effective and efficient strategies to

    prepare the soon-to-be engineers to face the challenges of a real working environment. This

    paper presents an approach used to teach the use of value models for concept trade-off in

    the preliminary design phase, in line with the industrial challenges highlighted by the literature

    on Value Driven Design. The approach is based on realistic design sessions assigning

    to master students a value assessment challenge. The paper describes the rationale of the

    approach, its set-up, and a validation activity run to compare the performances of the students

    with those of industrial practitioners. The results of the study show that the students

    taking part in the design sessions can produce results that do not statistically differ from

    those of industrial practitioners. Moreover, the students’ self-reflection on the achievement

    of the intended learning outcomes show a high satisfaction toward the achievement of the

    educational objectives.

  • Andersson, Ewa K.
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Health.
    Dellkvist, Helen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Health.
    Johansson, Ulrika Bernow
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Health. Blekinge Inst Technol, Dept Hlth, Karlskrona, Sweden.;Karlskrona Municipal, Karlskrona, Sweden..
    Skär, Lisa
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Health.
    Relatives' experiences of sharing a written life story about a close family member with dementia who has moved to residential care: An interview study2019In: Nursing Open, E-ISSN 2054-1058, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 276-282Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim The aim of this study was to describe relatives' experiences of sharing a written life story about a close family member with dementia who has moved to residential care. Design An explorative descriptive qualitative design was used. Methods The data were collected using semi-structured interviews with a purposeful sample of eight relatives and analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Results Results show that creating and sharing the life story of a close family member could help relatives handle grief and stress. It was perceived as an important, yet difficult, task to ensure that the close family member got good quality care. The creation of a meaningful life story takes time and requires cooperation with family members and other significant people.

  • Public defence: 2019-05-07 08:20 Karlskrona
    Wilson, Magnus
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Ericsson AB.
    Towards Effective and Efficient Business Model change: Opportunities and challenges for software-intensive product development companies2019Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Digitalization initiates and drives significant changes to the process level, organization level, and business level of software-intensive product development (SIPD) companies and their customers. Digitalization creates new opportunities through digital transformation strategies of the business environment. Digitalization also significantly reduces the turnaround-time on a transaction, driving new challenges for the alignment of business and technology changes. For a successful business model realization, a company must understand what capabilities the organization has (in staff and products), what is required, and more importantly, how to turn these capabilities into good-enough abilities without disturbing the effectiveness and efficiency of the daily operations. Integrating the product and service development and the value delivery with a learning organization is critical for efficient business model change (BMCh).

    This thesis seeks to develop conceptual models for how BMCh is linked to value, learning organization design, and the transformation of capabilities into abilities derived from business model activities and actor interactions. Such conceptual models facilitate to investigate and identify critical mechanisms and capabilities needed to effectively and efficiently manage BMCh at full scale for SIPD companies, allowing them to exploit the on-going digitalization, may it be through (disruptive) business model innovation, technology innovation, or by continuously adapting and evolving the business operations.  

    I use the SIPD company as the unit of analysis, with the dual-lens of value and knowledge, set in the context of a business model and how the value creation and capture are influenced by the interaction between two actors performing a business model activity. I build on the business model literature and infuse theories for knowledge creation, learning organizations, and contractual promises to create value. Conducting a cross-disciplinary literature review, followed by a synthesis of related literature, industry best-practices, and an associated design science study, my propositions were validated in a longitudinal case study exploring a service industrialization program in the telecommunication industry.

    I have produced five conceptual models and seven propositions as a start to be able to support the design of a governance mechanism, as the critical engine for both the learning organization and effective and efficient BMCh. The industry now explores the models found during the case study.

    My synthesis shows a need for further research into BMCh regarding early detection and measurements of gaps in value, gaps in knowledge, ambiguity, equivocality, and abilities. Flexible role-based governance views present the measurements, as part of the governance mechanisms for full-scale, effective, and efficient BMCh. Further, I also aim to implement such governance mechanisms in software, by using the associated research in intent-driven systems. In the meantime, I propose industry to build knowledge and experience related to the seven propositions.

  • Gradolewski, Dawid
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Applied Signal Processing.
    Magenes, Giovanni
    Univ Pavia, ITA.
    Johansson, Sven
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Applied Signal Processing.
    Kulesza, Wlodek
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Applied Signal Processing.
    A Wavelet Transform-Based Neural Network Denoising Algorithm for Mobile Phonocardiography2019In: Sensors, ISSN 1424-8220, E-ISSN 1424-8220, Vol. 19, no 4, article id 957Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cardiovascular pathologies cause 23.5% of human deaths, worldwide. An auto-diagnostic system monitoring heart activity, which can identify the early symptoms of cardiac illnesses, might reduce the death rate caused by these problems. Phonocardiography (PCG) is one of the possible techniques able to detect heart problems. Nevertheless, acoustic signal enhancement is required since it is exposed to various disturbances coming from different sources. The most common denoising enhancement is based on the Wavelet Transform (WT). However, the WT is highly susceptible to variations in the noise frequency distribution. This paper proposes a new adaptive denoising algorithm, which combines WT and Time Delay Neural Networks (TDNN). The acquired signal is decomposed by means of the WT using the coif five-wavelet basis at the tenth decomposition level and then provided as input to the TDNN. Besides the advantage of adaptive thresholding, the reason for using TDNNs is their capacity of estimating the Inverse Wavelet Transform (IWT). The best parameters of the TDNN were found for a NN consisting of 25 neurons in the first and 15 in the second layer and the delay block of 12 samples. The method was evaluated on several pathological heart sounds and on signals recorded in a noisy environment. The performance of the developed system with respect to other wavelet-based denoising approaches was validated by the online questionnaire.

  • Bertoni, Marco
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
    Multi-Criteria Decision Making for Sustainability and Value Assessment in Early PSS Design2019In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, no 7, p. 1952-1979Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Sustainability is increasingly recognized as a key innovation capability in the organization. However, it is not always evident for manufacturers how sustainability targets shall be “mixed and matched” with more traditional objectives—such as quality, time, cost, and performances—when designing and developing solutions. The emergence of “servitization” and product-service systems (PSS) further emphasizes the need for making thoughtful trade-offs between technical aspects, business strategies, and environmental benefits of a design. The objective of this paper is to investigate how multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) models shall be applied to down-select PSS concepts from a value perspective, by considering sustainability as one of the attributes of a design contributing to the overall value of a solution. Emerging from the findings of a multiple case study in the aerospace and construction sector, the paper presents a five-step iterative process to support decision making for sustainable PSS design, which was further applied to design an electrical load carrier. The findings show that the proposed approach creates a “hub” where argumentations related to “value” and “sustainability” of PSS solution concepts can be systematically captured in a way that supports the discussion on the appropriate quantification strategy.

  • Public defence: 2019-05-03 13:15 J1650, Karlskrona
    Jachimczyk, Bartosz
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Applied Signal Processing. DAC SA.
    Real-time Locating Systems for indoor applications: the methodological customization approach2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Emerging wireless technologies increase the potential and effectiveness of wireless Real-time Locating Systems (RTLSs), which precisely localize the position, and identify things and people in real time. Among many applications, RTLSs are widely used in the industrial sector for indoor logistics and safety applications. However, signal interferences, which affect the system’s performance, are a serious issue of all indoor RTLS applications. Among others, the interferences are caused by the changeable working environment, the geometry and structure of the space, furnishing, and other obstacles. A customization of the RTLS’s architecture and localization algorithm may provide a way to overcome the interference problem and then enhance the systems’ performance.

    The objective of this thesis is to develop and implement customization methods, which enhance system performance in the changeable working environment without compromising the functional and non-functional requirements defined by future users and stakeholders. The customized solution is to be based on the comprehensive methodological analysis of the system’s technical and environmental constraints, along with the requirements specified by the application field. The customization process covers the selection, adjustment and adaptation of the wireless technologies and methods in order to enhance the location system’s performance, in terms of accuracy and precision without compromising its simplicity and price.

    In this research, wireless technologies of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Ultra-wideband (UWB) are applied. The related indoor localization methods, such as, ranging techniques based on Received Signal Strength (RSS) and Angle of Arrival (AoA), are a thesis focus. Moreover, estimation methods like Fingerprinting and Angulation are used.

    One of the proposed customization methods of RFID-based 3D RTLS, refers to the heuristic analysis-based optimization of a number and configuration of readers. For the same type of system, an alternative way of performance improvement is a customization of localization algorithm, explicitly the Neural Network-based estimation algorithm and its structural features and training methods.

    Also in this thesis, performance improvement methods of the AoA-based RTLS operating in an UWB technology are proposed. The proposed customization of this system type is based on the uncertainty pattern defined by a statistical uncertainty model, which maps the localization uncertainty in terms of precision in the 2D workspace. The model depicts how the localization uncertainty depends on an arrangement of Location Sensors and workspace geometry. Another proposed customization method is realized by defining and implementing correction vectors for different working environments, which enhance the system’s performance in terms of its accuracy.

    This thesis consists of two parts. Part I, Prolegomena, presents the overview of applied theories and research methods. This part aims to illustrate the links between the articles constituting the second part of the dissertation. Part II, Papers consists of five reformatted papers already published in peer reviewed journals and conferences.

  • Westphal, Florian
    et al.
    Grahn, Håkan
    Lavesson, Niklas
    User Feedback and Uncertainty in User Guided Binarization2018In: IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, ICDMWVolume 2018-November, 7 February 2019, IEEE Computer Society, 2018, p. 403-410, article id 8637367Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a child’s development, the child’s inherent ability to construct knowledge from new information is as important as explicit instructional guidance. Similarly, mechanisms to produce suitable learning representations, which can be trans- ferred and allow integration of new information are important for artificial learning systems. However, equally important are modes of instructional guidance, which allow the system to learn efficiently. Thus, the challenge for efficient learning is to identify suitable guidance strategies together with suitable learning mechanisms.

    In this paper, we propose guided machine learning as source for suitable guidance strategies, we distinguish be- tween sample selection based and privileged information based strategies and evaluate three sample selection based strategies on a simple transfer learning task. The evaluated strategies are random sample selection, i.e., supervised learning, user based sample selection based on readability, and user based sample selection based on readability and uncertainty. We show that sampling based on readability and uncertainty tends to produce better learning results than the other two strategies. Furthermore, we evaluate the use of the learner’s uncertainty for self directed learning and find that effects similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect prevent this use case. The learning task in this study is document image binarization, i.e., the separation of text foreground from page background and the source domain of the transfer are texts written on paper in Latin characters, while the target domain are texts written on palm leaves in Balinese script.

  • Kusetogullari, Hüseyin
    et al.
    Yavariabdi, Amir
    KTO Karatay University, TUR.
    Cheddad, Abbas
    Hall, Johan
    Arkiv Digital, Växjö, SWE.
    ARDIS: A Swedish Historical Handwritten Digit Dataset2019In: Neural computing & applications (Print), ISSN 0941-0643, E-ISSN 1433-3058Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper introduces a new image-based handwrittenhistorical digit dataset named ARDIS (Arkiv DigitalSweden). The images in ARDIS dataset are extractedfrom 15,000 Swedish church records which were writtenby different priests with various handwriting styles in thenineteenth and twentieth centuries. The constructed datasetconsists of three single digit datasets and one digit stringsdataset. The digit strings dataset includes 10,000 samplesin Red-Green-Blue (RGB) color space, whereas, the otherdatasets contain 7,600 single digit images in different colorspaces. An extensive analysis of machine learning methodson several digit datasets is examined. Additionally, correlationbetween ARDIS and existing digit datasets ModifiedNational Institute of Standards and Technology (MNIST)and United States Postal Service (USPS) is investigated. Experimental results show that machine learning algorithms,including deep learning methods, provide low recognitionaccuracy as they face difficulties when trained on existingdatasets and tested on ARDIS dataset. Accordingly, ConvolutionalNeural Network (CNN) trained on MNIST andUSPS and tested on ARDIS provide the highest accuracies 58.80% and 35.44%, respectively. Consequently, the resultsreveal that machine learning methods trained on existingdatasets can have difficulties to recognize digits effectivelyon our dataset which proves that ARDIS dataset hasunique characteristics. This dataset is publicly available forthe research community to further advance handwritten digitrecognition algorithms.

  • Linde, Peter
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, The Library.
    BTH Newsletter on Science Publishing and Open Access Issues: March20192019Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • Sandberg, Jacob
    et al.
    Lunds Universitet, SWE.
    Lansing, Robert
    University of Arizona, USA.
    Anderberg, Peter
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Health.
    Currow, David
    Cancer Institute NSW, AUS.
    Sundh, Josefin
    Örebro Universitet, SWE.
    Ahmadi, Zainab
    Lunds Universitet, SWE.
    Palmqvist, Sebastian
    Skåne University Hospital, SWE.
    Ekström, Magnus
    Lunds Universitet, SWE.
    Relating Experienced To Recalled breathlessness Observational (RETRO) study: A prospective study using a mobile phone application2019In: BMJ Open Respiratory Research, ISSN 2052-4439, Vol. 6, no 1, article id e000370Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Breathlessness, the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort, is common and appears in the daily life of people with cardiorespiratory diseases. Physicians often rely on patient's history based on symptom recall. The relation between recalled and experienced breathlessness is still poorly understood. This paper presents the protocol for a study primarily aimed at evaluating the relationship between experienced breathlessness and (1) recalled breathlessness and (2) predicted future breathlessness. Methods: A mobile phone application will be used to collect data during daily life. Medically stable participants, ≥18 years of age with mean daily breathlessness of Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) 3/10 and able to use a mobile phone with internet will rate their breathlessness intensity on a 0-10 NRS prompted the user several times daily for 1 week. Participants will recall their breathlessness each day and week. Multivariable random effects regression models will be used for statistical analyses. Results: Results of the study will be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals and presented at relevant conferences. Discussion: This protocol describes a study aimed at investigating previously unknown areas of the experience and recall of breathlessness using a new method of data collection. © 2019 Author(s).

  • Molléri, Jefferson Seide
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Views of Research Quality in Empirical Software Engineering2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background. Software Engineering (SE) research, like other applied disciplines, intends to provide trustful evidence to practice. To ensure trustful evidence, a rigorous research process based on sound research methodologies is required. Further, to be practically relevant, researchers rely on identifying original research problems that are of interest to industry; and the research must fulfill various quality standards that form the basis for the evaluation of the empirical research in SE. A dialogue and shared view of quality standards for research practice is still to be achieved within the research community.

     Objectives. The main objective of this thesis is to foster dialogue and capture different views of SE researchers on method level (e.g., through the identification and reasoning on the importance of quality characteristics for experiments, surveys and case studies) as well as general quality standards for Empirical Software Engineering (ESE). Given the views of research quality, a second objective is to understand how to operationalize, i.e. build and validate instruments to assess research quality. 

    Method. The thesis makes use of a mixed method approach of both qualitative and quantitative nature. The research methods used were case studies, surveys, and focus groups. A range of data collection methods has been employed, such as literature review, questionnaires, and semi-structured workshops. To analyze the data, we utilized content and thematic analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics.

    Results. We draw two distinct views of research quality. Through a top-down approach, we assessed and evolved a conceptual model of research quality within the ESE research community. Through a bottom-up approach, we built a checklist instrument for assessing survey-based research grounded on supporting literature and evaluated ours and others’ checklists in research practice and research education contexts.

    Conclusion. The quality standards we identified and operationalized support and extend the current understanding of research quality for SE research. This is a preliminary, but still vital, step towards a shared understanding and view of research quality for ESE research. Further steps are needed to gain a shared understanding of research quality within the community. 

  • Marculescu, Bogdan
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Jabbari, Ramtin
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Molléri, Jefferson Seide
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Perception of Scientific Evidence: Do Industry and Academia Share an Understanding?2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Collaboration depends on communication and upon having a similar understanding of the notions that are being discussed, and a similar appraisal of their value. Existing work seems to show that the collaboration between industry and academia is hampered by a difference in values. In particular, academic work focuses more on generalizing on the basis of existing evidence, while industry prefers to particularize conclusions to individual cases. This has lead to the conclusion that industry values scientific evidence less than academia does. 

    Objective: This paper seeks to re-evaluate that conclusion, and investigate if industry and academia share a definition of scientific evidence. If evidence can be found of competing views, we propose a more finely grained model of empirical evidence and its role in building software engineering knowledge. Moreover, we seek to determine if a more nuanced look the notion of scientific evidence has an influence on how academics and industry practitioners perceive that notion. 

    Method: We have developed a model of key concepts related to understanding empirical evidence in software engineering. An initial validation has been conducted, consisting of a survey of master students, to determine if competing views of evidence exist at that level. The model will be validated by further literature study and semistructured interviews with industry practitioners. 

    Results: We propose a model of empirical evidence in software engineering, and initial validation of that model by means of a survey. The results of the survey indicate that conflicting opinions already exist in the student body regarding the notion of evidence, how trustworthy different sources of evidence and knowledge are, and which sources of evidence and types of evidence are more appropriate in various situations.

    Conclusion: Rather than a difference in how industry and academia value scientific evidence, we see evidence of misunderstanding, of different notions of what constitutes scientific evidence and what strength of evidence is required to achieve specific goals. We propose a model of empirical evidence, to provide a better understanding of what is required in various situations and a better platform for communication between industry and academia.

  • Molléri, Jefferson Seide
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Felderer, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mendes, Emilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Reasoning about Research Quality Alignment in Software EngineeringIn: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Research quality is intended to assess the design and reporting of studies. It comprises a series of concepts such as methodological rigor, practical relevance, and conformance to ethical standards. Depending on the perspective, different views of importance are given to the conceptual dimensions of research quality.

    Objective: We aim to better understand what constitutes research quality from the perspective of the empirical software engineering community. In particular, we intend to assess the level of alignment between researchers with regard to a conceptual model of research quality.

    Method: We conducted a mixed methods approach comprising an internal case study and a complementary focus group. We carried out a hierarchical voting prioritization based on the conceptual model to collect relative values for importance. In the focus group, we also moderate discussions with experts to address potential misalignment.

    Results: We provide levels of alignment with regard to the importance of quality dimensions in the view of the participants. Moreover, the conceptual model fairly expresses the quality of research but has limitations with regards the structure and description of its components.

    Conclusion: Based on the results, we revised the conceptual model and provided an updated version adjusted to the context of empirical software engineering research. We also discussed how to assess quality alignment in research using our approach, and how to use the revised model of quality to characterize an assessment instrument.

  • Molléri, Jefferson Seide
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mendes, Emilia
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    An Empirically Evaluated Checklist for Surveys in Software EngineeringIn: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, E-ISSN 1873-6025Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Context: Over the past decade Software Engineering research has seen a steady increase in survey-based studies, and there are several guidelines providing support for those willing to carry out surveys. The need for auditing survey research has been raised in the literature. Checklists have been used to assess different types of empirical studies, such as experiments and case studies.

    Objective: This paper proposes a checklist to support the design and assessment of survey-based research in software engineering grounded in existing guidelines for survey research. We further evaluated the checklist in the research practice context.

    Method: To construct the checklist, we systematically aggregated knowledge from 12 methodological studies supporting survey-based research in software engineering. We identified the key stages of the survey process and its recommended practices through thematic analysis and vote counting. To improve our initially designed checklist we evaluated it using a mixed evaluation approach involving experienced researchers.

    Results: The evaluation provided insights regarding the limitations of the checklist in relation to its understanding and objectivity. In particular, 19 of the 38 checklist items were improved according to the feedback received from its evaluation. Finally, a discussion on how to use the checklist and what its implications are for research practice is also provided.

    Conclusion: The proposed checklist is an instrument suitable for auditing survey reports as well as a support tool to guide ongoing research with regard to the survey design process.