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Towards the exploration strategies by mining Mylyns' interaction histories

Zéphyrin Soh, Yann-Gaël Guéhéneuc

Technical Report (2013)

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Abstract

When developers perform a maintenance task, they always explore the program, i.e., movefrom one program entity to another. However, even though maintenance is a crucial task, theexploration strategies (ES) used by developers to navigate through the program entities remainunstudied. This lack of study prevents us from understanding how developers explore a programand perform a change task, from recommending strategies to developers, and (ultimately) fromcritically evaluating a developer's exploration performance. As a first step towards understandingES, we mined interaction histories (IH) gathered using the Eclipse Mylyn plugin from developersperforming a change task on four open-source projects (ECF, Mylyn, PDE, and Eclipse Platform).An ES is defined and characterized by the way (how) the developers navigate through the programentities. Using the Gini inequality index on the number of revisits of program entities, we observethat ES can be either centralized (CES) or extended (EES). We automatically classified interactionhistories as CES or EES and performed an empirical study to ascertain the effect of the ES onthe task duration and effort. We found that, although an EES requires more exploration effortthan a CES, an EES is less time consuming than a CES. Extensive work (number of days spentperforming a task) typically imply a CES. Our results show that developers who follow an EES havea methodical investigation of source code while developers who follow a CES have an opportunisticexploration of source code.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Software Maintenance, Program Exploration, Interaction Histories, Exploration Strategies, Mylyn

Subjects: 2700 Information technology > 2706 Software engineering
Department: Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering
Funders: Canada Research Chair on Software Patterns and Patterns of Software, Canada Research Chair on Software Change and Evolution
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/2799/
Report number: EPM-RT-2013-01
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2017 15:42
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 13:59
Cite in APA 7: Soh, Z., & Guéhéneuc, Y.-G. (2013). Towards the exploration strategies by mining Mylyns' interaction histories (Technical Report n° EPM-RT-2013-01). https://publications.polymtl.ca/2799/

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