Replication Package for: "Redundancy-free Analysis of Multi-revision Software Artifacts"

This page provides the download containing all data used in the study as well as the scripts used to compute the results. A detailed description of the contents as well as instructions on how to use the scripts is included in the README.

Authors

Carol V. Alexandru¹, Sebastiano Panichella¹, Sebastian Proksch¹, Harald C. Gall¹

¹) University of Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract

Researchers often analyze several revisions of a software project to obtain historical data about its evolution. For example, they statically analyze the source code and monitor the evolution of certain metrics over multiple revisions. The time and resources requirements for running these analyses often make it necessary to limit the number of analyzed revision, e.g. by only selecting major revisions or by using a coarse-grained sampling strategy, which could remove significant details of the evolution. Most existing analysis techniques are not designed for the analysis of multi-revision artifacts and they treat each revision individually. However, the actual difference between two subsequent revisions is typically very small. Thus, tools tailored for the analysis of multiple revisions should only analyze these differences, thereby preventing re-computation and storage of redundant data, improving scalability and enabling the study of a larger number of revisions. In this work, we propose the Lean Language-Independent Software Analyzer (LISA), a generic framework for representing and analyzing multi-revisioned software artifacts. It employs a redundancy-free, multi-revision representation for artifacts and avoids re-computation by only analyzing changed artifact fragments across thousands of revisions. The evaluation of our approach consists of measuring the effect of each individual technique incorporated, an in-depth study of LISA's resource requirements and a large-scale analysis over 7 million program revisions of 4,000 software projects written in four languages. We show that the time and space requirements for multi-revision analyses can be reduced by multiple orders of magnitude, when compared to traditional, sequential approaches.