By Topic

Towards a better understanding of software evolution: An empirical study on open source software

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

3 Author(s)
Guowu Xie ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Univ. of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, USA ; Jianbo Chen ; Neamtiu, I.

Software evolution is a fact of life. Over the past thirty years, researchers have proposed hypotheses on how software changes, and provided evidence that both supports and refutes these hypotheses. To paint a clearer image of the software evolution process, we performed an empirical study on long spans in the lifetime of seven open source projects. Our analysis covers 653 official releases, and a combined 69 years of evolution. We first tried to verify Lehman's laws of software evolution. Our findings indicate that several of these laws are confirmed, while the rest can be either confirmed or infirmed depending on the laws' operational definitions. Second, we analyze the growth rate for projects' development and maintenance branches, and the distribution of software changes. We find similarities in the evolution patterns of the programs we studied, which brings us closer to constructing rigorous models for software evolution.

Published in:

Software Maintenance, 2009. ICSM 2009. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

20-26 Sept. 2009