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Analyzing feature traces to incorporate the semantics of change in software evolution analysis

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3 Author(s)
O. Greevy ; Software Composition Group, Bern Univ., Switzerland ; S. Ducasse ; T. Girba

Many of the approaches that analyze software evolution consider a static perspective of a system. Static analysis approaches focus on the evolution of static software entities such as packages, classes and methods. Without knowledge of the roles software entities play in system features, it is difficult to interpret the motivation behind changes and extensions in the code. To tackle this problem, we propose an approach to software evolution analysis that exploits the relationships between features and software entities. Our definition of a feature is a unit of observable behavior of a software system. We define history measurements that summarize the evolution of software entities from a feature perspective. We show how we use our feature perspective of software evolution to interpret modifications and extensions to the code. We apply our approach on two case studies and discuss our findings.

Published in:

21st IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM'05)

Date of Conference:

26-29 Sept. 2005