Evaluation and Experimentation

Computer scientists build complex systems or choose among existing systems to satisfy perceived needs and requirements. The system is then deployed in an environment consisting of humans and other systems. How do we know the impact of the system on the environment and how well it meets the perceived requirements? A fundamental skill in informatics is the ability to design experiments for evaluating computer systems. In this course, the students will acquire a basic understanding of how to design such experiments and what pitfalls to avoid during design and experimentation. Basic concepts of experimental design, data measurement, qualitative and quantitative evaluation, and evaluation with and without users will be covered.

Teaching Mode

Lectures, presentations, homework assignments and in-class discussions.


No mandatory textbook will be used. Handouts will be provided. However, students are encouraged to complement their reading with one or more of the following sources:

  • E. J. Davidson: Evaluation Methodology Basics. Sage 2004, 280 pages.
  • A. Field, G. Hole: How to Design and Report Experiments. Sage 2003, 384 pages.
  • Claes Pohlin et al.: Experimentation in Software Engineering. Springer-Verlag 2012, ISBN-13: 978-3642290435.


ClassSemesterInstructorTeaching Assistant(s)
Evaluation and Experimentation 2022 Fall
Evaluation and Experimentation 2021 Fall
Evaluation and Experimentation in Informatics 2018 Fall
Evaluation and Experimentation in Informatics 2017 Fall
Evaluation and Experimentation in Informatics 2015 Spring
Evaluation and Experimentation in Informatics 2013 Fall
Evaluation and Experimentation in Informatics 2012 Fall

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Computing Group

Profs. S. Santini and M. Langheinrich
Università della Svizzera italiana (USI)
Faculty of Informatics
Via G. Buffi 13
6900 Lugano, Switzerland