Leveraging Q&A platforms to improve issue management in software projects
Traditional issue management systems like Bugzilla are widely used in open source and commercial projects. Stack Exchange uses its online question and answer (Q&A) platform to manage bugs, which brings several new unique features that are not offered in traditional bug management systems. In this thesis, we divide our study into the Q&A features that are being used in the Stack Exchange issue management system, as well as study the differences between bug reports and feature requests that have been refined due to community collaborations. For the former part, we study the unique features of Stack Exchange Q&A platform that allows users to directly edit a bug report (i.e., the in-place editing feature) instead of commenting about the bug report; use different communication channels (i.e., the answering and commenting features) to discuss reported bugs, and vote on those bug reports, answers, and their associated comments (i.e., the voting feature). We study how these unique features are used to manage bugs, and provide insights to the designers of traditional bug management systems who are considering introducing such features in their bug management system. The later part of this thesis performs a study of the differences between bug reports and feature requests in the Stack Exchange issue management system. We perform this study because: 1) Stack Exchange contains a large number of issues that have been carefully tagged as bug reports versus feature requests. 2) the issue management is carried out through a Q&A platform, which provides us with a richer perspective on the differences between the management of bug reports and feature requests. We found that bug reports and feature requests differ significantly from each other along many dimensions such as the amount of community participation, the content of the issues, and the characteristics of the participating users. We are able to automatically identify bug reports from feature requests with a median AUC of 0.90. The developers of issue management systems, software practitioners and researchers can leverage such understanding to improve issue management processes in large software projects.
URI for this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/1974/26672
Request an alternative formatIf you require this document in an alternate, accessible format, please contact the Queen's Adaptive Technology Centre
The following license files are associated with this item: