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Recovering from a Decade: A Systematic Mapping of Information Retrieval Approaches to Software Traceability

Borg, Markus LU ; Runeson, Per LU and Ardö, Anders LU (2014) In Empirical Software Engineering 19(6). p.1565-1616
Abstract
Engineers in large-scale software development have to manage large amounts of information, spread across many artifacts. Several researchers have proposed expressing retrieval of trace links among artifacts, i.e. trace recovery, as an Information Retrieval (IR) problem. The objective of this study is to produce a map of work on IR-based trace recovery, with a particular focus on previous evaluations and strength of evidence. We conducted a systematic mapping of IR-based trace recovery. Of the 79 publications classified, a majority applied algebraic IR models. While a set of studies on students indicate that IR-based trace recovery tools support certain work tasks, most previous studies do not go beyond reporting precision and recall of... (More)
Engineers in large-scale software development have to manage large amounts of information, spread across many artifacts. Several researchers have proposed expressing retrieval of trace links among artifacts, i.e. trace recovery, as an Information Retrieval (IR) problem. The objective of this study is to produce a map of work on IR-based trace recovery, with a particular focus on previous evaluations and strength of evidence. We conducted a systematic mapping of IR-based trace recovery. Of the 79 publications classified, a majority applied algebraic IR models. While a set of studies on students indicate that IR-based trace recovery tools support certain work tasks, most previous studies do not go beyond reporting precision and recall of candidate trace links from evaluations using datasets containing less than 500 artifacts. Our review identified a need of industrial case studies. Furthermore, we conclude that the overall quality of reporting should be improved regarding both context and tool details, measures reported, and use of IR terminology. Finally, based on our empirical findings, we present suggestions on how to advance research on IR-based trace recovery. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Traceability, Information retrieval, Software artifacts, Systematic mapping study
in
Empirical Software Engineering
volume
19
issue
6
pages
1565 - 1616
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000343910700002
  • scopus:84910016460
ISSN
1573-7616
DOI
10.1007/s10664-013-9255-y
project
EASE
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a6fc0861-4d78-4eae-aa64-247792292ef3 (old id 3737413)
date added to LUP
2013-05-14 14:32:58
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:10:56
@article{a6fc0861-4d78-4eae-aa64-247792292ef3,
  abstract     = {Engineers in large-scale software development have to manage large amounts of information, spread across many artifacts. Several researchers have proposed expressing retrieval of trace links among artifacts, i.e. trace recovery, as an Information Retrieval (IR) problem. The objective of this study is to produce a map of work on IR-based trace recovery, with a particular focus on previous evaluations and strength of evidence. We conducted a systematic mapping of IR-based trace recovery. Of the 79 publications classified, a majority applied algebraic IR models. While a set of studies on students indicate that IR-based trace recovery tools support certain work tasks, most previous studies do not go beyond reporting precision and recall of candidate trace links from evaluations using datasets containing less than 500 artifacts. Our review identified a need of industrial case studies. Furthermore, we conclude that the overall quality of reporting should be improved regarding both context and tool details, measures reported, and use of IR terminology. Finally, based on our empirical findings, we present suggestions on how to advance research on IR-based trace recovery.},
  author       = {Borg, Markus and Runeson, Per and Ardö, Anders},
  issn         = {1573-7616},
  keyword      = {Traceability,Information retrieval,Software artifacts,Systematic mapping study},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {1565--1616},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Empirical Software Engineering},
  title        = {Recovering from a Decade: A Systematic Mapping of Information Retrieval Approaches to Software Traceability},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10664-013-9255-y},
  volume       = {19},
  year         = {2014},
}