INES - National Institute of Science and Technology for Software Engineering

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  • Using Expert Finding techniques to design context-sensitive bug tracking systems

    Publicado em March 15th, 2012Uncategorized

    A bug tracking system is a software application that is designed to help quality assurance and programmers keep track of reported software bugs in their work. It may be regarded as a type of issue tracking system. Many bug-tracking systems, such as those used by most open source software projects, allow users to enter bug reports directly. Other systems are used only internally in a company or organization doing software development. Typically bug tracking systems are integrated with other software project management applications. Having a bug tracking system is extremely valuable in software development, and they are used extensively by companies developing software products.

    A major component of a bug tracking system is a database that records facts about known bugs. Facts may include the time a bug was reported, its severity, the erroneous program behavior, and details on how to reproduce the bug; as well as the identity of the person who reported it and any programmers who may be working on fixing it. The main benefit of a bug-tracking system is to provide a clear centralized overview of development requests (including both bugs and improvements, the boundary is often fuzzy), and their state. The prioritized list of pending items (often called backlog) provides valuable input when defining the product roadmap, or maybe just “the next release”. Identifying best people to solve a bug in a big system is a problem, once that it is hard to keep track of expertise of all the stakeholders in a project.

    Expert Finding is the area of research that addresses the task of finding the right person with the appropriate skills and knowledge. Searching for experts who have the appropriate skills and knowledge in a specific research field is an important task when it comes to bug tracking activities. For stakeholders in a software development it is important to: 1) Identify which programmer has greater affinity with certain subjects, or those who contribute most to the construction of collective knowledge within the team; 2) Motivate their participation in the team. An Expert Finder tool is a machine that finds experts in certain subjects, usually taking into account aspects such as the number of publications on specific issues, number of citation by other authors, number of joint communities and others, like number of bugs fixed.

    Context-sensitive systems (CSS) are computer systems that use context to provide more relevant services or information to support users performing their tasks, where context is any information that can be used to characterize the situation in which something exists or occurs. CSS demand that designers consider new aspects and challenges in comparison to traditional applications. Only few approaches offer integrated domain-independent support on developing CSS.

    Our goal is use Expert Finding techniques to design context-sensitive bug tracking systems. There are new information retrieval techniques that can be used to find experts in software development teams. Besides, after finding the experts in a software development team, the bug-tracking systems can be improved through context sensitive design techniques. This project has some innovative features related to information retrieval, expert finding and context-sensitive development. The expected contributions can be classified into two aspects: theoretical-conceptual and experimental. The theoretical-conceptual contributions are related to: (i) improvement of expert finding approaches using new techniques of information retrieval; (ii) formalism of new concepts related to CSS; (iii) use of “expert information” in the development of bug-tracking sensitive context systems. Another aspect is experimental, where we have the execution of validation of the proposed framework and case studies in order to evaluate this framework in different software development scenarios.


  • INES at ABZ 2012

    Publicado em March 15th, 2012Expenses, News, Publications

    INES researchers Prof. David Deharbe and MSc student Haniel Barbosa have seen their submitted work selected for presentation and publication at ABZ 2012. The event will take place in Pisa, Italy, from June 18th to 21st, 2012 and will gather researchers interested in the formal methods ASM, Alloy, B, VDM and Z. ABZ 2012 will be organized jointly with iFM 2012 and is being held in honor of Prof. Egon Börger’s 65th birthday.

    Two papers were accepted. They are titled and authored respectively as follows:

    • SMT-Solvers for Rodin. D. Deharbe, P. Fontaine, Y. Guyot and L. Voisin.
    • Formal verication of PLC programs using the B Method. H. Barbosa and D. Deharbe.