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Author Robillard, Martin P.
Source CiteSeerX
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ Data processing & computer science
Description Before performing a modification task, a developer usually has to investigate the source code of a system to understand how to carry out the task. Discovering the code relevant to a change task is costly because it is an inherently human activity whose success de-pends on a large number of unpredictable factors, such as intuition and luck. Although studies have shown that effective developers tend to explore a program by following structural dependencies, no methodology is available to guide their navigation through the typically hundreds of dependency paths found in a non-trivial pro-gram. In this paper, we propose a technique to automatically pro-pose and rank program elements that are potentially interesting to a developer investigating source code. Our technique is based on an analysis of the topology of structural dependencies in a program. It takes as input a set of program elements of interest to a developer and produces a fuzzy set describing other elements of potential in-terest. Empirical evaluation of our technique indicates that it can help developers quickly select program elements worthy of inves-tigation while avoiding less interesting ones.
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG ♦ Career/Technical Study
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-01-01
Publisher Institution In Proc. Joint Europ. Softw. Eng. Conf. and ACM SIGSOFT Int’l Symp. Foundations Softw. Eng