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Tesseract: Interactive visual exploration of socio-technical relationships in software development

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4 Author(s)
Anita Sarma ; Institute for Software Research, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 USA ; Larry Maccherone ; Patrick Wagstrom ; James Herbsleb

Software developers have long known that project success requires a robust understanding of both technical and social linkages. However, research has largely considered these independently. Research on networks of technical artifacts focuses on techniques like code analysis or mining project archives. Social network analysis has been used to capture information about relations among people. Yet, each type of information is often far more useful when combined, as when the ldquogoodnessrdquo of social networks is judged by the patterns of dependencies in the technical artifacts. To bring such information together, we have developed Tesseract, an interactive exploratory environment that utilizes cross-linked displays to visualize the myriad relationships between artifacts, developers, bugs, and communications. We evaluated Tesseract by (1) demonstrating its feasibility with GNOME project data (2) assessing its usability via informal user evaluations, and (3) verifying its suitability for the open source community via semi-structured interviews.

Published in:

2009 IEEE 31st International Conference on Software Engineering

Date of Conference:

16-24 May 2009