Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Information Foraging Theory as a Unifying Foundation for Software Engineering Research : Connecting the Dots Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/r207ts097

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  • Empirical studies have shown that programmers spend up to one-third of their time navigating through code during debugging. Although researchers have conducted empirical studies to understand programmers’ navigation difficulties and developed tools to address those difficulties, the resulting findings tend to be loosely connected to each other. To address this gap, we propose using theory to “connect the dots” between software engineering (SE) research findings. Our theory of choice is Information Foraging Theory (IFT) which explains and predicts how people seek information in an environment. Thus, it is well-suited as a unifying foundation because navigating code is a fundamental aspect of software engineering. In this dissertation, we investigated IFT’s suitability as a unifying foundation for SE through a combination of tool building and empirical user studies of programmers debugging. Our contributions show how IFT can help to unify SE research via cross-cutting insights spanning multiple software engineering subdisciplines.
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