Empirical Evaluation

Read Complete Research Material


Empirical Evaluation

Empirical Evaluations

Why should software practitioners conduct empirical evaluations? [7 marks]

The choice in selecting software technology in the Information Technology industry is dependent upon the fashion, hype and interest of the gurus of the industry. However, still an agreement is found that evidence collection based on empirical calculation should be the prime component of the basis for important decisions. Backing up your claims with data is mandatory in scientific and engineering disciplines. It is also believed that empirical evaluation appeals to most practioners of the software industry. One of the prime reasons for conducting empirical evaluation is to demonstrate that the questions regarding affectivity of multiple software technologies are usually superficial. The most common question asked is whether a technology works or whether a particular method is better than another method? In software technology these are meaningless questions. It's similar to asking whether a bike is a better mode of transport than a helicopter. The question which is valued in software technology is which method is better in which situation? In order to evaluate and answer these questions we use empirical evaluation methods. As provided software development is an activity controlled by humans in organizations, we need to prefer the usage of empirical evaluation over mathematical methods to deduce the answers. Using empirical evaluation in software technology makes it more rational and informed.

2. What factors might make it difficult to conduct an empirical evaluation of the scenario?

There are multiple factors which hinder the adoption of empirical evaluation as the only method for the evaluation of the scenario. Amongst the major are mentioned below:

Software Technologies

Human intervention

Economic Constraint

Updating of Technology


Software Technologies

The environments available for software make it a difficult task for the user to select the software upon which to evaluate empirically the scenario. The availability of different programming languages is a confusing option in itself. Other than that the selection of software on the basis of java environment is also a confusing task for e.g. the above scenario presents a dilemma of selection between NetBeans Integrated Development Environment and the BlueJ environment.

Human Intervention

The selection of the technology or environment becomes complex when human intervention arises. As a java program software is controlled by the human being in organizations. They should primarily consider two facts firstly the selection is not mathematical based but human selection on the basis of sociology and psychology is also included.

Economic Constraint

The scenario suggests a totally new code to be written. As the code becomes complex the system requirement becomes heavier. Similarly a program with heavy graphic use requires a heavy system. Additional equipment and peripherals such as scanner and camera when incorporated in the usage of the program also makes the software unaffordable. The project needs to be cost effective.

Updating of technology

One of the most common dilemmas faced by the IT Industry is that the technology keeps updating very quickly, which demands the software user to update their equipment and technology. The updated technology provides easy platforms to breach security of the existing programs ...
Related Ads