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Supporting Change Impact Analysis Using a Recommendation System: An Industrial Case Study in a Safety-Critical Context

Wnuk, Krzysztof LU ; Regnell, Björn LU ; Borg, Markus LU and Runeson, Per LU (2016) In IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Abstract
Change Impact Analysis (CIA) during software evolution of safety-critical systems is a labor-intensive task. Several authors have proposed tool support for CIA, but very few tools were evaluated in industry. We present a case study on ImpRec, a recommendation System for Software Engineering (RSSE), tailored for CIA at a process automation company. ImpRec builds on assisted tracing, using information retrieval solutions and mining software repositories to recommend development artifacts, potentially impacted when resolving incoming issue reports. In contrast to the majority of tools for automated CIA, ImpRec explicitly targets development artifacts that are not source code. We evaluate ImpRec in a two-phase study. First, we measure the... (More)
Change Impact Analysis (CIA) during software evolution of safety-critical systems is a labor-intensive task. Several authors have proposed tool support for CIA, but very few tools were evaluated in industry. We present a case study on ImpRec, a recommendation System for Software Engineering (RSSE), tailored for CIA at a process automation company. ImpRec builds on assisted tracing, using information retrieval solutions and mining software repositories to recommend development artifacts, potentially impacted when resolving incoming issue reports. In contrast to the majority of tools for automated CIA, ImpRec explicitly targets development artifacts that are not source code. We evaluate ImpRec in a two-phase study. First, we measure the correctness of ImpRec’s recommendations by a simulation based on 12 years’ worth of issue reports in the company. Second, we assess the utility of working with ImpRec by deploying the RSSE in two development teams on different continents. The results suggest that ImpRec presents about 40% of the true impact among the top-10 recommendations. Furthermore, user log analysis indicates that ImpRec can support CIA in industry, and developers acknowledge the value of ImpRec in interviews. In conclusion, our findings show the potential of reusing traceability associated with developers’ past activities in an RSSE. (Less)
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publication status
epub
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in
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
publisher
IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISSN
0098-5589
DOI
10.1109/TSE.2016.2620458
language
English
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yes
id
1e68418e-bd47-47e3-bc90-cfb41e288190
date added to LUP
2016-10-28 13:58:35
date last changed
2016-10-28 14:26:05
@article{1e68418e-bd47-47e3-bc90-cfb41e288190,
  abstract     = {Change Impact Analysis (CIA) during software evolution of safety-critical systems is a labor-intensive task. Several authors have proposed tool support for CIA, but very few tools were evaluated in industry. We present a case study on ImpRec, a recommendation System for Software Engineering (RSSE), tailored for CIA at a process automation company. ImpRec builds on assisted tracing, using information retrieval solutions and mining software repositories to recommend development artifacts, potentially impacted when resolving incoming issue reports. In contrast to the majority of tools for automated CIA, ImpRec explicitly targets development artifacts that are not source code. We evaluate ImpRec in a two-phase study. First, we measure the correctness of ImpRec’s recommendations by a simulation based on 12 years’ worth of issue reports in the company. Second, we assess the utility of working with ImpRec by deploying the RSSE in two development teams on different continents. The results suggest that ImpRec presents about 40% of the true impact among the top-10 recommendations. Furthermore, user log analysis indicates that ImpRec can support CIA in industry, and developers acknowledge the value of ImpRec in interviews. In conclusion, our findings show the potential of reusing traceability associated with developers’ past activities in an RSSE.},
  author       = {Wnuk, Krzysztof and Regnell, Björn and Borg, Markus and Runeson, Per},
  issn         = {0098-5589},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  publisher    = {IEEE--Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.},
  series       = {IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering},
  title        = {Supporting Change Impact Analysis Using a Recommendation System: An Industrial Case Study in a Safety-Critical Context},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TSE.2016.2620458 },
  year         = {2016},
}