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MSR 2021
Mon 17 - Wed 19 May 2021
co-located with ICSE 2021
Tue 18 May 2021 18:10 - 19:00 at MSR Room 1 - Tutorial


The availability of data originating from different software artifacts makes mining software repository (MSR) research appealing for many. Sometimes, this makes our research more data-driven than problem-driven: “here’s a cool dataset, let’s try to do something with that!” However, if we try to categorize them along different dimensions, MSR papers may have manyfold contributions, including technology and tools, (quantitative and qualitative) empirical evidence, and data others can leverage. In this tutorial, I will try to outline what could be, based on my own experience, best practice to effectively write a good MSR paper. The tutorial will especially focus on elements that are particularly important in an MSR paper, e.g., context selection and data extraction. At the same time, I will also overview how, when reporting results of MSR research, researchers should be particularly careful in following consolidated guidelines for empirical software engineering papers, and, given the recent hype of machine learning (and deep learning in particular), justify choices made and allow for reproducibility. Last, but not least, MSR research is not just about number crunching: an MSR paper should be able to provide implications/insights to the reader, or else allow others to build on your research.

Massimiliano Di Penta is a full professor at the University of Sannio, Italy. His research interests include software maintenance and evolution, mining software repositories, empirical software engineering, search-based software engineering, and software testing. He is an author of over 260 papers that appeared in international journals, conferences, and workshops. He has received several awards for research and service, including four ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished paper awards. Most importantly, he has received several distinguished reviewer awards. He serves and has served in the organizing and program committees of more than 100 conferences, including ICSE, FSE, ASE, and ICSME. He will be program co-chair of ESEC/FSE 2021 and of ICSE 2023. He is co-editor in chief of the Journal of Software: Evolution and Processes edited by Wiley, editorial board member of ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology and Empirical Software Engineering Journal edited by Springer, and has served the editorial board of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering.

Tue 18 May

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Tue 18 May 2021 18:10 - 19:00 at MSR Room 1 - Tutorial
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