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2013 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (2012)
Trento, Italy Italy
Sept. 23, 2012 to Sept. 28, 2012
ISSN: 1063-6773
ISBN: 978-1-4673-2313-0
pp: 181-190
Hongyu Kuang , State Key Lab for Novel Software Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Patrick Mader , Institute of Systems Engineering and Automation, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
Hao Hu , State Key Lab for Novel Software Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Achraf Ghabi , Institute of Systems Engineering and Automation, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
LiGuo Huang , Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275, USA
Lv Jian , State Key Lab for Novel Software Technology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Alexander Egyed , Institute of Systems Engineering and Automation, Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
ABSTRACT
It is common practice for requirements traceability research to consider method call dependencies within the source code (e.g., fan-in/fan-out analyses). However, current approaches largely ignore the role of data. The question this paper investigates is whether data dependencies have similar relationships to requirements as do call dependencies. For example, if two methods do not call one another, but do have access to the same data then is this information relevant? We formulated several research questions and validated them on three large software systems, covering about 120 KLOC. Our findings are that data relationships are roughly equally relevant to understanding the relationship to requirements traces than calling dependencies. However, most interestingly, our analyses show that data dependencies complement call dependencies. These findings have strong implications on all forms of code understanding, including trace capture, maintenance, and validation techniques (e.g., information retrieval).
INDEX TERMS
Java, Servers, Software systems, Conferences, Software maintenance, Video on demand, Motion pictures, method data dependencies, requirements traceability, feature location, source code dependencies, program analysis, method call dependencies
CITATION
Hongyu Kuang, Patrick Mader, Hao Hu, Achraf Ghabi, LiGuo Huang, Lv Jian, Alexander Egyed, "Do data dependencies in source code complement call dependencies for understanding requirements traceability?", 2013 IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, vol. 00, no. , pp. 181-190, 2012, doi:10.1109/ICSM.2012.6405270
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