Does the Propagation of Artifact Changes across Tasks reflect Work Dependencies? (bibtex)
by Christoph Mayr-Dorn, Alexander Egyedv
Abstract:
Developers commonly define tasks to help coordinate software development efforts-whether they be feature implementation, refactoring, or bug fixes. Developers establish links between tasks to express implicit dependencies that needs explicit handling - dependencies that often require the developers responsible for a given task to assess how changes in a linked task affect their own work and vice versa (i.e., change propagation). While seemingly useful, it is unknown if change propagation indeed coincides with task links. No study has investigated to what extent change propagation actually occurs between task pairs and whether it is able to serve as a metric for characterizing the underlying task dependency. In this paper, we study the temporal relationship between developer reading and changing of source code in relationship to task links. We identify seven situations that explain the varying correlation of change propagation with linked task pairs and find six motifs describing when change propagation occurs between non-linked task pairs. Our paper demonstrates that task links are indeed useful for recommending which artifacts to monitor for changes, which developers to involve in a task, or which tasks to inspect.
Reference:
Does the Propagation of Artifact Changes across Tasks reflect Work Dependencies? (Christoph Mayr-Dorn, Alexander Egyedv), In ICSE '18: 40th International Conference on Software Engineering , May 27-June 3, 2018, Gothenburg, 2018.
Bibtex Entry:
@InProceedings{Mayr-DornE18,
  author    = {Christoph Mayr-Dorn and Alexander Egyedv},
  title     = {Does the Propagation of Artifact Changes across Tasks reflect Work Dependencies?},
  booktitle = {ICSE '18: 40th International Conference on Software Engineering , May 27-June 3, 2018, Gothenburg},
  year      = {2018},
  abstract  = {Developers commonly define tasks to help coordinate software development
	efforts-whether they be feature implementation, refactoring, or
	bug fixes. Developers establish links between tasks to express implicit
	dependencies that needs explicit handling - dependencies that often
	require the developers responsible for a given task to assess how
	changes in a linked task affect their own work and vice versa (i.e.,
	change propagation). While seemingly useful, it is unknown if change
	propagation indeed coincides with task links. No study has investigated
	to what extent change propagation actually occurs between task pairs
	and whether it is able to serve as a metric for characterizing the
	underlying task dependency. In this paper, we study the temporal
	relationship between developer reading and changing of source code
	in relationship to task links. We identify seven situations that
	explain the varying correlation of change propagation with linked
	task pairs and find six motifs describing when change propagation
	occurs between non-linked task pairs. Our paper demonstrates that
	task links are indeed useful for recommending which artifacts to
	monitor for changes, which developers to involve in a task, or which
	tasks to inspect.},
  doi       = {10.1145/3180155.3180185},
  file      = {:Conferences\\ICSE 2018 - Does the Propagation of Artifact Changes across Tasks reflect Work Dependencies\\Does the Propagation of Artifact Changes across Tasks reflect Work Dependencies-preprint.pdf:PDF},
  keywords  = {task links, change propagation, bugzilla, mylyn, empirical study, FWF P29415-NBL},
}
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