Monday, May 28, 2007

Thoughts after ICSE

I've just returned from ICSE May 18th-May 26th. I had the chance to attend several workshops and talks and meet with several people.

One interesting thing discussed during the Mining Software Repository workshop was several ways of correlating defect density with software modules. One simple metric with high correlation was importing a package or namespace. In Eclipse, a class importing the 'compiler' package has a 71% chance of containing a bug. This is likely due to some concepts being more error-prone and show up when importing the package.

One discussion I had with Jon Cook was the difference between run-time usage frequency versus static frequency. We concluded that CodeRank or (some other static analysis) would potentially try to approximate what the distribution of run-time frequency would be against the static call sites. Empirical evaluation would be needed to confirm how well something like CodeRank approximates run-time distributions of usage. If this turns out to not work well, then a backup plan would be to use instruction coverage or runtime profiles from programs such as gcov.

I will be talking with Alex Orso this week or next for his opinion.

I also had some of my own thoughts about how to visualize the eventual output.
This is an interesting visualization problem because a framework developer may want to see the distribution of types/methods across several deployed applications.

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◈lunaluna◈ said...
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