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  • Retraction Note: Retraction note to: The smell of fear: on the relation between test smells and flaky tests
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-26
    Fabio Palomba, Andy Zaidman

    The authors have retracted this article Palomba and Zaidman (2019). Upon re-review of the experiment presented in the article, the authors identified errors in the flaky test detection strategy. After careful analysis of the replication study, the results presented in this article are rendered unreliable. All authors agree to this retraction.

    更新日期:2020-03-27
  • Building the perfect game – an empirical study of game modifications
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-26
    Daniel Lee, Dayi Lin, Cor-Paul Bezemer, Ahmed E. Hassan

    Abstract Prior work has shown that gamer loyalty is important for the sales of a developer’s future games. Therefore, it is important for game developers to increase the longevity of their games. However, game developers cannot always meet the growing and changing needs of the gaming community, due to the often already overloaded schedules of developers. So-called modders can potentially assist game

    更新日期:2020-03-27
  • FixMiner: Mining relevant fix patterns for automated program repair
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-14
    Anil Koyuncu, Kui Liu, Tegawendé F. Bissyandé, Dongsun Kim, Jacques Klein, Martin Monperrus, Yves Le Traon

    Abstract Patching is a common activity in software development. It is generally performed on a source code base to address bugs or add new functionalities. In this context, given the recurrence of bugs across projects, the associated similar patches can be leveraged to extract generic fix actions. While the literature includes various approaches leveraging similarity among patches to guide program

    更新日期:2020-03-16
  • An empirical analysis of error propagation in critical software systems
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-13
    Marcello Cinque, Raffaele Della Corte, Antonio Pecchia

    Abstract Error propagation analysis is a consolidated practice to gain insights into error modes and effects that pertain to the activation of faults in software systems. A variety of approaches, such as architecture-based, source code instrumentation and variable tracing, have been proposed so far to address software error propagation analysis. Although valuable, existing approaches entail a substantial

    更新日期:2020-03-16
  • An exploratory study of smart contracts in the Ethereum blockchain platform
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-12
    Gustavo A. Oliva, Ahmed E. Hassan, Zhen Ming (Jack) Jiang

    Abstract Ethereum is a blockchain platform that supports smart contracts. Smart contracts are pieces of code that perform general-purpose computations. For instance, smart contracts have been used to implement crowdfunding initiatives that raised a total of US$6.2 billion from January to June of 2018. In this paper, we conduct an exploratory study of smart contracts. Differently from prior studies

    更新日期:2020-03-12
  • Characteristics of method extractions in Java: a large scale empirical study
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-10
    Andre Hora, Romain Robbes

    Abstract Extract method is the “Swiss army knife” of refactorings: developers perform method extraction to introduce alternative signatures, decompose long code, improve testability, among many other reasons. Although the rationales behind method extraction are well explored, we are not yet aware of its characteristics. Assessing this information can provide the basis to better understand this important

    更新日期:2020-03-10
  • Explicit programming strategies
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-07
    Thomas D. LaToza, Maryam Arab, Dastyni Loksa, Amy J. Ko

    Abstract Software developers solve a diverse and wide range of problems. While software engineering research often focuses on tools to support this problem solving, the strategies that developers use to solve problems are at least as important. In this paper, we offer a novel approach for enabling developers to follow explicit programming strategies that describe how an expert tackles a common programming

    更新日期:2020-03-09
  • Ammonia: an approach for deriving project-specific bug patterns
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-07
    Yoshiki Higo, Shinpei Hayashi, Hideaki Hata, Meiyappan Nagappan

    Abstract Finding and fixing buggy code is an important and cost-intensive maintenance task, and static analysis (SA) is one of the methods developers use to perform it. SA tools warn developers about potential bugs by scanning their source code for commonly occurring bug patterns, thus giving those developers opportunities to fix the warnings (potential bugs) before they release the software. Typically

    更新日期:2020-03-09
  • An experimental scrutiny of visual design modelling: VCL up against UML+OCL
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-12-28
    Nuno Amálio, Lionel Briand, Pierre Kelsen

    Abstract The graphical nature of prominent modelling notations, such as the standards UML and SysML, enables them to tap into the cognitive benefits of diagrams. However, these notations hardly exploit the cognitive potential of diagrams and are only partially graphical with invariants and operations being expressed textually. The Visual Contract Language (VCL) aims at improving visual modelling; it

    更新日期:2020-03-09
  • You broke my code: understanding the motivations for breaking changes in APIs
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-11-29
    Aline Brito, Marco Tulio Valente, Laerte Xavier, Andre Hora

    Abstract As most software systems, libraries and frameworks also evolve, which may break existing clients. However, the main reasons to introduce breaking changes in APIs are unclear. Therefore, in this paper, we first report the results of an almost 4-month long field study with popular Java libraries and frameworks. We configured an infrastructure to observe all changes in these libraries and to

    更新日期:2020-03-09
  • CAPS: a supervised technique for classifying Stack Overflow posts concerning API issues
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-07-19
    Md Ahasanuzzaman, Muhammad Asaduzzaman, Chanchal K. Roy, Kevin A. Schneider

    Abstract The design and maintenance of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are complex tasks due to the constantly changing requirements of their users. Despite the efforts of their designers, APIs may suffer from a number of issues (such as incomplete or erroneous documentation, poor performance, and backward incompatibility). To maintain a healthy client base, API designers must learn these

    更新日期:2020-03-09
  • An approach and benchmark to detect behavioral changes of commits in continuous integration
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-05
    Benjamin Danglot, Martin Monperrus, Walter Rudametkin, Benoit Baudry

    Abstract When a developer pushes a change to an application’s codebase, a good practice is to have a test case specifying this behavioral change. Thanks to continuous integration (CI), the test is run on subsequent commits to check that they do no introduce a regression for that behavior. In this paper, we propose an approach that detects behavioral changes in commits. As input, it takes a program

    更新日期:2020-03-06
  • Investigating types and survivability of performance bugs in mobile apps
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-05
    Alejandro Mazuera-Rozo, Catia Trubiani, Mario Linares-Vásquez, Gabriele Bavota

    Abstract A recent research showed that mobile apps represent nowadays 75% of the whole usage of mobile devices. This means that the mobile user experience, while tied to many factors (e.g., hardware device, connection speed, etc.), strongly depends on the quality of the apps being used. With “quality” here we do not simply refer to the features offered by the app, but also to its non-functional characteristics

    更新日期:2020-03-06
  • Practical relevance of software engineering research: synthesizing the community’s voice
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-05
    Vahid Garousi, Markus Borg, Markku Oivo

    Abstract Software engineering (SE) research should be relevant to industrial practice. There have been regular discussions in the SE community on this issue since the 1980’s, led by pioneers such as Robert Glass. As we recently passed the milestone of “50 years of software engineering”, some recent positive efforts have been made in this direction, e.g., establishing “industrial” tracks in several

    更新日期:2020-03-06
  • MSRBot: Using bots to answer questions from software repositories
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-03
    Ahmad Abdellatif, Khaled Badran, Emad Shihab

    Abstract Software repositories contain a plethora of useful information that can be used to enhance software projects. Prior work has leveraged repository data to improve many aspects of the software development process, such as, help extract requirement decisions, identify potentially defective code and improve maintenance and evolution. However, in many cases, project stakeholders are not able to

    更新日期:2020-03-03
  • Boosting crash-inducing change localization with rank-performance-based feature subset selection
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-03-02
    Zhaoqiang Guo, Yanhui Li, Wanwangying Ma, Yuming Zhou, Hongmin Lu, Lin Chen, Baowen Xu

    Abstract Given a bucket of crash reports, it would be helpful for developers to find and fix the corresponding defects if the crash-inducing software changes can be automatically located. Recently, an approach called ChangeLocator was proposed, which used ten change-level features to train a supervised model based on the data from the historical fixed crashes. It was reported that ChangeLocator achieved

    更新日期:2020-03-03
  • A systemic framework for crowdsourced test report quality assessment
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-27
    Xin Chen, He Jiang, Xiaochen Li, Liming Nie, Dongjin Yu, Tieke He, Zhenyu Chen

    Abstract In crowdsourced mobile application testing, crowd workers perform test tasks for developers and submit test reports to report the observed abnormal behaviors. These test reports usually provide important information to improve the quality of software. However, due to the poor expertise of workers and the inconvenience of editing on mobile devices, some test reports usually lack necessary information

    更新日期:2020-02-27
  • The virtual lands of Oz: testing an agribot in simulation
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-25
    Clément Robert, Thierry Sotiropoulos, Hélène Waeselynck, Jérémie Guiochet, Simon Vernhes

    Abstract Testing autonomous robots typically requires expensive test campaigns in the field. To alleviate them, a promising approach is to perform intensive tests in virtual environments. This paper presents an industrial case study on the feasibility and effectiveness of such an approach. The subject system is Oz, an agriculture robot for autonomous weeding. Its software was tested with weeding missions

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Deriving a usage-independent software quality metric
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-19
    Tapajit Dey, Audris Mockus

    Abstract Context The extent of post-release use of software affects the number of faults, thus biasing quality metrics and adversely affecting associated decisions. The proprietary nature of usage data limited deeper exploration of this subject in the past. Objective To determine how software faults and software use are related and how, based on that, an accurate quality measure can be designed. Method

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Predicting software defect type using concept-based classification
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-12
    Sangameshwar Patil, B. Ravindran

    Abstract Automatically predicting the defect type of a software defect from its description can significantly speed up and improve the software defect management process. A major challenge for the supervised learning based current approaches for this task is the need for labeled training data. Creating such data is an expensive and effort-intensive task requiring domain-specific expertise. In this

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Meshing agile and plan-driven development in safety-critical software: a case study
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-04
    Lise Tordrup Heeager, Peter Axel Nielsen

    Abstract Organizations developing safety-critical software are increasingly seeking to create better practices by meshing agile and plan-driven development processes. Significant differences between the agile and the plan-driven processes make meshing difficult, and very little empirical evidence on using agile processes for safety-critical software development exists. There are four areas of concern

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • How bugs are born: a model to identify how bugs are introduced in software components
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-02-04
    Gema Rodríguez-Pérez, Gregorio Robles, Alexander Serebrenik, Andy Zaidman, Daniel M. Germán, Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona

    Abstract When identifying the origin of software bugs, many studies assume that “a bug was introduced by the lines of code that were modified to fix it”. However, this assumption does not always hold and at least in some cases, these modified lines are not responsible for introducing the bug. For example, when the bug was caused by a change in an external API. The lack of empirical evidence makes it

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Cross-version defect prediction: use historical data, cross-project data, or both?
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-28
    Sousuke Amasaki

    Abstract Context Although a long-running project has experienced many releases, removing defects from a product is still a challenge. Cross-version defect prediction (CVDP) regards project data of prior releases as a useful source for predicting fault-prone modules based on defect prediction techniques. Recent studies have explored cross-project defect prediction (CPDP) that uses the project data from

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Code Localization in Programming Screencasts
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-20
    Mohammad Alahmadi, Abdulkarim Khormi, Biswas Parajuli, Jonathan Hassel, Sonia Haiduc, Piyush Kumar

    Abstract Programming screencasts are growing in popularity and are often used by developers as a learning source. The source code shown in these screencasts is often not available for download or copy-pasting. Without having the code readily available, developers have to frequently pause a video to transcribe the code. This is time-consuming and reduces the effectiveness of learning from videos. Recent

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Measuring the accuracy of software vulnerability assessments: experiments with students and professionals
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-20
    Luca Allodi, Marco Cremonini, Fabio Massacci, Woohyun Shim

    Abstract Assessing the risks of software vulnerabilities is a key process of software development and security management. This assessment requires to consider multiple factors (technical features, operational environment, involved assets, status of the vulnerability lifecycle, etc.) and may depend from the assessor’s knowledge and skills. In this work, we tackle with an important part of this problem

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • What should your run-time configuration framework do to help developers?
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-17
    Mohammed Sayagh, Noureddine Kerzazi, Fabio Petrillo, Khalil Bennani, Bram Adams

    Abstract The users or deployment engineers of a software system can adapt such a system to a wide range of deployment and usage scenarios by changing the value of configuration options, for example by disabling unnecessary features, tweaking performance-related parameters or specifying GUI preferences. However, the literature agrees that the flexibility of such options comes at a price: misconfigured

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • CDA: Characterising Deprecated Android APIs
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-11
    Li Li, Jun Gao, Tegawendé F. Bissyandé, Lei Ma, Xin Xia, Jacques Klein

    Abstract Because of functionality evolution, or security and performance-related changes, some APIs eventually become unnecessary in a software system and thus need to be cleaned to ensure proper maintainability. Those APIs are typically marked first as deprecated APIs and, as recommended, follow through a deprecated-replace-remove cycle, giving an opportunity to client application developers to smoothly

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • On the impact of using trivial packages: an empirical case study on npm and PyPI
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-09
    Rabe Abdalkareem, Vinicius Oda, Suhaib Mujahid, Emad Shihab

    Abstract Code reuse has traditionally been encouraged since it enables one to avoid re-inventing the wheel. Due to the npm left-pad package incident where a trivial package led to the breakdown of some of the most popular web applications such as Facebook and Netflix, some questioned such reuse. Reuse of trivial packages is particularly prevalent in platforms such as npm. To date, there is no study

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • An empirical characterization of bad practices in continuous integration
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-08
    Fiorella Zampetti, Carmine Vassallo, Sebastiano Panichella, Gerardo Canfora, Harald Gall, Massimiliano Di Penta

    Abstract Continuous Integration (CI) has been claimed to introduce several benefits in software development, including high software quality and reliability. However, recent work pointed out challenges, barriers and bad practices characterizing its adoption. This paper empirically investigates what are the bad practices experienced by developers applying CI. The investigation has been conducted by

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • ALFAA: Active Learning Fingerprint based Anti-Aliasing for correcting developer identity errors in version control systems
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2020-01-03
    Sadika Amreen, Audris Mockus, Russell Zaretzki, Christopher Bogart, Yuxia Zhang

    Abstract An accurate determination of developer identities is important for software engineering research and practice. Without it, even simple questions such as “how many developers does a project have?” cannot be answered. The commonly used version control data from Git is full of identity errors and the existing approaches to correct these errors are difficult to validate on large scale and cannot

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Bounties on technical Q&A sites: a case study of Stack Overflow bounties
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-07-31
    Jiayuan Zhou, Shaowei Wang, Cor-Paul Bezemer, Ahmed E. Hassan

    Abstract Technical question and answer (Q&A) websites provide a platform for developers to communicate with each other by asking and answering questions. Stack Overflow is the most prominent of such websites. With the rapidly increasing number of questions on Stack Overflow, it is becoming difficult to get an answer to all questions and as a result, millions of questions on Stack Overflow remain unsolved

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • How different are different diff algorithms in Git?
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-09-11
    Yusuf Sulistyo Nugroho, Hideaki Hata, Kenichi Matsumoto

    Abstract Automatic identification of the differences between two versions of a file is a common and basic task in several applications of mining code repositories. Git, a version control system, has a diff utility and users can select algorithms of diff from the default algorithm Myers to the advanced Histogram algorithm. From our systematic mapping, we identified three popular applications of diff

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Search. Review. Repeat? An empirical study of threats to replicating SLR searches
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-08-30
    Jacob Krüger, Christian Lausberger, Ivonne von Nostitz-Wallwitz, Gunter Saake, Thomas Leich

    Abstract A systematic literature review (SLR) is an empirical method used to provide an overview of existing knowledge and to aggregate evidence within a domain. For computer science, several threats to the completeness of such reviews have been identified, leading to recommendations and guidelines on how to improve their quality. However, few studies address to what extent researchers can replicate

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • Are free Android app security analysis tools effective in detecting known vulnerabilities?
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-08-05
    Venkatesh-Prasad Ranganath, Joydeep Mitra

    Abstract Increasing interest in securing the Android ecosystem has spawned numerous efforts to assist app developers in building secure apps. These efforts have resulted in tools and techniques capable of detecting vulnerabilities and malicious behaviors in apps. However, there has been no evaluation of the effectiveness of these tools and techniques in detecting known vulnerabilities. The absence

    更新日期:2020-02-25
  • The effectiveness of context-based change application on automatic program repair
    Empir. Software Eng. (IF 4.457) Pub Date : 2019-09-02
    Jindae Kim, Jeongho Kim, Eunseok Lee, Sunghun Kim

    Abstract An Automatic Program Repair (APR) technique is an implementation of a repair model to fix a given bug by modifying program behavior. Recently, repair models which collect source code and code changes from software history and use such collected resources for patch generation became more popular. Collected resources are used to expand the patch search space and to increase the probability that

    更新日期:2020-02-25
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