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2nd Workshop on

Empirical Studies in Reverse Engineering

Benevento (Italy), October 23rd 2006

Part of the 13th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering - WCRE 2006.

Important Dates
September 11th: Deadline for submitting position papers PASSED
September 21st: Notification of acceptance PASSED notification sent on Sept. 28
October 23rd: WESRE Workshop Concluded




During the last ten years tools and techniques for the reverse engineering of existing code have been proposed and implemented. However, systematic attempts to empirically validate usability and usefulness in the field are uncommon. In order to accompany this discipline toward its maturity, lessons learned concerning these validations need to be shared among the reverse engineering community.The resulting increased awareness of cost-effective validation methods supports the introduction of proposed tools and techniques in the software development and evolution process.


The topics of interest include but are not limited to the following:
  • tools and techniques to conduct empirical studies
  • lessons learned in running empirical studies
  • experimental designs for RE
  • usability assessments
  • cost-effectiveness of various approaches
  • indications for tool improvement
  • frameworks and infrastructures


The first objective of the workshop will be a recognition of the current ongoing and concluded empirical studies in the area of reverse engineering. These will form the map of the known world in this area. Second, we aim at surveying the techniques and methods used to conduct the studies; they are the candidates to populate the researcher's toolbox. Third, we wish to map the studies to a taxonomy of reverse engineering techniques and tools, in order to understand what the coverage of the studies is. Fourth, networking of researchers to design and conduct studies replicated at several different locations.


The main results the participants of the workshop can achieve are:
  • Establishment of a research network in empirical studies in reverse engineering.
  • Promotion of best practices both in conducting and publishing empirical studies.
  • Identification of critical success / failure factors in empirical studies.
  • Organization and planning of experiment replication


The workshop will accept short position papers, that will form the basis for a live discussion The paper selection will be based on the relevance to the workshop topic. The paper will be reviewed by the workshop's program committee. The accepted papers will be made available on the web site before the workshop to allow all the participats to know each other positions. The workshop will be organized around several thematic sessions made up of a short presentation session with 10-15 minutes per position paper followed by a longer discussion time.


WESRE builds on the success of the 1st edition, that was held in Budapest, within STEP 2005, co-located with the IEEE International Conference on Sofwtare Maintenance (ICSM 2005). WESRE 2005 had good attendance and participants reported very positive feedback about the outcome. The same format of WESRE 2005 will be kept in the 2006 edition: short paper presentations followed by discussion.

Organizing Committee

Workshop chair: Program committee