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Theoretical research and theory building in informatics

Albertas Čaplinskas
Vilnius University
Institute of Mathematics and Informatics

Abstract: As a scientific discipline, a modern informatics has emerged more than a half century ago. However it is still not mature enough. Most of the theoretical results are at the exploratory level. Many researchers are not enough knowledgeable in the theoretical research methods, which are accepted in other more mature scientific disciplines (like, medicine or physics). They are also not sufficient conscious of the modern experimentation techniques and threat evaluation approaches. In this presentation we discuss the role of theoretical research in informatics. We highlight the relations between theoretical and empirical research, the concept and classification of scientific theories, the structure and other formal properties of such theories and their building approaches. Specifically, the presentation highlights the relations between scientific theories and theoretical research methods and the criteria to evaluate scientific theories. Inter alia we discuss also the concept of research programmes proposed by Imre Lakatos and its criticism provided by Paul Feyrabend in last decades of recent century.

Prof. dr. Albertas ČAPLINSKAS (Vilnius University, Lithuania) graduated in Mathematics from the Moscow Lomonosov State University and defended his doctor thesis in computer sciences at the Vytautas Magnus Dux University (Kaunas, Lithuania). Albertas Čaplinskas is awarded by the Lithuanian National Science Award and by the title of Doctor Honoris Cause by the University of Latvia. He is author or co-author of 8 books and published over 170 research papers on information system engineering, software engineering, legislative engineering, knowledge engineering and related areas. Currently Albertas Čaplinskas is Chair of the Vilnius University Committee on Doctoral Studies in Informatics Engineering and lectures on Research Methods and Methodology .in Computer Science and Engineering to doctoral students.