Software Maintenance and Evolution

Software maintenance is a substantial part in the life-cycle of a software system. Typical studies show that more than 2/3 of the efforts are invested into modifications after delivery to correct faults, to improve performance, or to adapt to various other requirements such as platform or business changes. It seems obvious, therefore, that we need effective techniques and tools to support these activities to save costs and personnel resources in development and testing.

In this course we will learn the foundations of software evolution and maintenance. This includes successful but aged software systems (i.e. legacy software), object-oriented reengineering, refactoring, change patterns, empirical analysis of software, defect prediction models, software quality analysis, or software evolution visualization. We will also present platforms and tools such as SOFAS, ChangeDistiller, or Software Evolution Facets.

Our group is among the international leading research groups in the areas of Mining Software Repositories(MSR), Software Maintenance, and Software Engineering.

Learning Goals

Learn theories, models, tools, and processes for the maintenance and evolution of large software sytems.

Format

This course offers a combination of lectures and practical exercises. Practical exercises are required during the course because they allow to better understand how the theory (published in research works) can be applied in practice. This allows the students to actively learn during the lecture and in preparation before and after the lecture based on concrete examples.

Final Evaluation

Grading will be based on the oral exam. Object of the oral exam are the required reading list. For the final evaluation all of the required exercises are considered mandatory.

Topics covered

  • Motivation, challenges and definitions in the field of software evolution
  • Variants of software maintenance, relations to software engineering life-cycle
  • Techniques of software evolution
  • Quantitative analyses, empirical analyses, qualitative analyses of software
  • Evolution dynamics
  • Case studies and assignments

Organization

Type: Vorlesung mit integrierter Übung
Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Harald Gall
Dr. Sebastiano Panichella
Schedule: Fri, 13:00-14:45, BIN 2.A.01
Language: Lecture in German and/or English, Materials in English
ECTS credits: 3.0
Prerequisites: BSc Informatik: Assessmentstufe, Module Software Engineering und Software-Praktikum
Target audience: Students in BSc Informatics (4+ Semester) and in MSc Informatics
Link to Online Course Catalogue: Obligatory course information
OLAT-Resource: OLAT for Software Maintenance and Evolution

Course Materials and OLAT Course

All complementary material will be made available in the OLAT-Resource for Software Maintenance and Evolution. All course materials, for example, slides, exercises, tools, etc., can be found there. It also contains a forum, where we will post announcements and answer questions related to the lecture in a timely fashion. Since, for technical reasons sometimes it is not possibile to update/upload data in the OLAT platform we provide all the essential materials (slides, exercises, tools) in this web page of the course.

Timetable

The list of weekly topics may be subject to change. The slides will be updated on a week by week basis. NOTE: Please check back to this table, as lecture units may change on short notice!

Date Topics Notes
22.09

Lecture on  "Foundations of Software Evolution (Leman Laws + Reengineering I)":
Challenges of software maintenance, software evolution, Laws of Software Evolution, Reverse engineering and Reengineering

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

The following are seminal papers that constitute the foundation of software evolution dating back into the 80s and the influential works of Manny Lehman.
M.M. Lehman, "Programs,Life Cycles, and Laws of Software Evolution", 1980
D.L. Parnas, "Software Aging", 1994
M.M. Lehman et al., "Metrics and Laws of Software Evolution", 1997

Lecturer:

Gall / Panichella

29.09

(1/2) Lecture  on "IR-based Traceability Recovery":
IR-based traceability recovery is a key software maintenance activity in which software engineers extract the relationships among software artifacts.

(1/2) Classroom Exercise (EX1):

Link to the Exercise will be provided before the lecture: "Traceability Recovery Exercise" 
Submit via OLAT (or alternatively, send an e-mail to panichella@ifi.uzh.ch)

 

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):
O.C.Z. Gotel, Anthony Finkelstein, "An analysis of the requirements traceability problem", In: Proceedings of the First IEEE International Conference on Requirements Engineering (ICRE), 1994.
Giovanni Capobianco, Andrea De Lucia, Rocco Oliveto, Annibale Panichella, Sebastiano Panichella, " On the role of the nouns in IR-based traceability recovery", In: Proceedings of the IEEE 17th International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC 2009).

Lecturer:

Panichella / Vassallo

 

06.10

Classroom Exercise (EX2)

Project subject of the exercise is: JEdit.

Learning goals: The objective of the exercise is gaining a rigorous  methodology when implementing a change request suggested by the project manager adopting the appropriate tools during this activity.  

Concepts and tasks involving the exercise:

- program comprehension;  

- concept location;  

- impact analysis;  

- prefactoring;  

- Updating;

- post factoring.

Lecturer:

Panichella / Vassallo

 

13.10

Lecture on "Change Type Analysis with ChangeDistiller"


For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

Beat Fluri, Michael Wuersch, Martin Pinzger, and Harald Gall. Change Distilling: Tree Differencing for Fine-Grained Source Code Change Extraction. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. 33(11):725-743, November 2007.

Christian Bird, David Pattison, Raissa D'Souza, Vladimir Filkov, and Premkumar Devanbu. Latent social structure in open source projects. In Proceedings of the 16th ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of software engineering (SIGSOFT '08/FSE-16). ACM, New York, pp. 24-35, 2008.

Lecturer:

Gall

20.10

Lecture on "Summarization Techniques for Code, Changes, and Testing".
 

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

Laura Moreno, Andrian Marcus, Lori L. Pollock, K. Vijay-Shanker' JSummarizer: An automatic generator of natural language summaries for Java classes. In Proceedings of the 35th International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC), IEEE, 2013.: pp. 230-232, 2014.

Laura Moreno, Gabriel Bavota, Massimiliano Di Penta, Rocco Oliveto, Andrian Marcus, Gerardo Canfora 'Automatic generation of release notes. In Proceedings of the ACM Sigsoft 22nd International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (Sigsoft '08 / ESF-22). ACM, pp. 484-495, 2014.

Sebastiano Panichella, Annibale Panichella, Mauritz Bella, Andy Zaidman, and Harald Gall: The impact of test case summaries on bug fixing performance: An empirical investigation. In Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2016)

 

Lecturer: Panichella
 
27.10 Classroom Exercise (EX3) on "Summarization Techniques for Code, Changes, and Testing" Lecturer: Panichella / Vassallo

03.11

Lecture on "Peer Code Review: Theory and Practice". 

 

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

Fagan, M. E. , Advances in Software Inspections, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Vol. 12(7):744-751, July 1986.

Alberto Bacchelli, Christian Bird, "Expectations, outcomes, and challenges of modern code review," In: Proceedings 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), IEEE, 2013.: 712-721.

Lecturer: Panichella
10.11

Classroom Exercise (EX4) 

Preparation:

a) Advance reading:
In order to perform this exercise, it is required to read the papers included in the reading list of the lecture of the course “Peer Code Review: Theory and Practise”.

b) Project:
To perform the exercise each student should select a Java project implemented during his/her past academic/professional experience.
A link to the Exercise will be provided before the lecture.
Submit via OLAT (or alternatively, send an e-mail to panichella@ifi.uzh.ch).

Lecturer: Panichella

17.11

Lecture on "Empirical Software Engineering"

 

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

, Thomas Zimmermann, Nachiappan Nagappan, Harald Gall, Emanuel Giger, Brendan Murphy: "Cross-project defect prediction: a large scale experiment on data vs. domain vs. process", In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE), 2009.

Christian Bird, Nachiappan Nagappan, Premkumar Devanbu, Harald Gall, Brendan Murphy, Does distributed development affect software quality? An empirical case study of Windows Vista, In: Proceedings 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), IEEE, 2009.

Lecturer: Gall
 
24.11

Lecture on "Overview on Software Testing" 


For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

Mauro Pezzè, Michael Young - Software Testing and Analysis: Process, Principles and Techniques

Lecturer: Grano
 
01.12

Lecture on "Search-based Software Testing (SBST)"

 

For this lecture is recommended a self-study of the required reading (for the final exam):

Phil McMinn - Search-based software test data generation: a survey

Gordon Fraser, Andrea Arcuri - Whole Test Suite Generation

Annibale Panichella, Fitsum Meshesha Kifetew, Paolo Tonella - Reformulating Branch Coverage as a Many-Objective Optiimization Problem

Lecturer: Grano
08.12

Guest Lecture: “Code Smells: Relevance of the Problem and Novel Detection Techniques” 

Lecturer: Dr. Palomba
 
15.12 Workshop with presentations of the students about the following papers (such papers will be not considered as part of the readinglist for the final evaluation)":
Sebastiano Panichella, Andrea Di Sorbo, Emitza Guzman, Corrado Aaron Visaggio, Gerardo Canfora, Harald C. Gall: How can i improve my app? Classifying user reviews for software maintenance and evolution . ICSME 2015.
Sebastiano Panichella, Annibale Panichella, Mauritz Bella, Andy Zaidman, and Harald Gall: The impact of test case summaries on bug fixing performance: An empirical investigation. In Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2016).
Gabriele Bavota, Gerardo Canfora, Massimiliano Di Penta, Rocco Oliveto, Sebastiano Panichella: The Evolution of Project Inter-dependencies in a Software Ecosystem: The Case of Apache. ICSM 2013.
Sebastiano Panichella, Jairo Aponte, Massimiliano Di Penta, Andrian Marcus, Gerardo Canfora: Mining source code descriptions from developer communications. ICPC 2012.
Gabriele Bavota, Gerardo Canfora, Massimiliano Di Penta, Rocco Oliveto, Sebastiano Panichella: An Empirical Investigation on Documentation Usage Patterns in Maintenance Tasks. ICSM 2013. 
Sebastiano Panichella, Gabriele Bavota, Massimiliano Di Penta, Gerardo Canfora, Giuliano Antoniol: How Developers' Collaborations Identified from Different Sources Tell Us about Code Changes. ICSME 2014
Sebastiano Panichella, Venera Arnaoudova, Massimiliano Di Penta, Giuliano Antoniol: Would static analysis tools help developers with code reviews? SANER 2015

Lecturer: 

Panichella

22.12 Exam.  
 
     

Exam

At the end of the course there will be a written exam (in the usual lecture slot). In case of only few participants, there will be an oral exam (with individual exam dates).

Literature

In addition to the papers mentioned as required reading, you may check additional materials for the course that can be found in the following book: