On the Performance of Hybrid Search Strategies for Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering. Mourao, E.; Pimentel, J. F.; Murta, L.; Kalinowski, M.; Mendes, E.; and Wohlin, C. Information and Software Technology, 123:106294:1-12, 2020.
On the Performance of Hybrid Search Strategies for Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering [pdf]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   8 downloads  
Context: When conducting a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), researchers usually face the challenge of designing a search strategy that appropriately balances result quality and review effort. Using digital library (or database) searches or snowballing alone may not be enough to achieve high-quality results. On the other hand, using both digital library searches and snowballing together may increase the overall review effort. Objective: The goal of this research is to propose and evaluate hybrid search strategies that selectively combine database searches with snowballing. Method: We propose four hybrid search strategies combining database searches in digital libraries with iterative, parallel, or sequential backward and forward snowballing. We simulated the strategies over three existing SLRs in SE that adopted both database searches and snowballing. We compared the outcome of digital library searches, snowballing, and hybrid strategies using precision, recall, and F-measure to investigate the performance of each strategy. Results: Our results show that, for the analyzed SLRs, combining database searches from the Scopus digital library with parallel or sequential snowballing achieved the most appropriate balance of precision and recall. Conclusion: We put forward that, depending on the goals of the SLR and the available resources, using a hybrid search strategy involving a representative digital library and parallel or sequential snowballing tends to represent an appropriate alternative to be used when searching for evidence in SLRs.
@article{MouraoPMKMW20,
	author = {Erica Mourao and Joao Felipe Pimentel and Leonardo Murta and Marcos Kalinowski and Emilia Mendes and Claes Wohlin},
	title = {On the Performance of Hybrid Search Strategies for Systematic Literature Reviews in Software Engineering},
	journal = {Information and Software Technology},
	volume = {123},
	number = {},
	note = {},      
	year = {2020},
	keywords = {},
	abstract = {Context: When conducting a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), researchers usually face the challenge of designing a search strategy that appropriately balances result quality and review effort. Using digital library (or database) searches or snowballing alone may not be enough to achieve high-quality results. On the other hand, using both digital library searches and snowballing together may increase the overall review effort.
				Objective: The goal of this research is to propose and evaluate hybrid search strategies that selectively combine database searches with snowballing.
				Method: We propose four hybrid search strategies combining database searches in digital libraries with iterative, parallel, or sequential backward and forward snowballing. We simulated the strategies over three existing SLRs in SE that adopted both database searches and snowballing. We compared the outcome of digital library searches, snowballing, and hybrid strategies using precision, recall, and F-measure to investigate the performance of each strategy.
				Results: Our results show that, for the analyzed SLRs, combining database searches from the Scopus digital library with parallel or sequential snowballing achieved the most appropriate balance of precision and recall.
				Conclusion: We put forward that, depending on the goals of the SLR and the available resources, using a hybrid search strategy involving a representative digital library and parallel or sequential snowballing tends to represent an appropriate alternative to be used when searching for evidence in SLRs.},
	issn = {0950-5849},	
	pages = {106294:1-12},	
	doi = {10.1016/j.infsof.2020.106294},
	url = {./publications/MouraoPMKMW20.pdf},
}
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