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An Empirical Study on Recommendations of Similar Bugs (SANER 2016)


Published March 16, 2016 in Research

The work to be performed on open source systems, whether feature developments or defects, is typically described as an issue (or bug). Developers self-select bugs from the many open bugs in a repository when they wish to perform work on the system. This paper evaluates a recommender, called NextBug, that considers the textual similarity of bug descriptions to predict bugs that require handling of similar code fragments. First, we evaluate this recommender using 69 projects in the Mozilla ecosystem. We show that for detecting similar bugs, a technique that considers just the bug components and short descriptions perform just as well as a more complex technique that considers other features. Second, we report a field study where we monitored the bugs fixed for Mozilla during a week. We sent mails to the developers who fixed these bugs, asking whether they would consider working on the recommendations provided by NextBug; 39 developers (59%) stated that they would consider working on these recommendations; 44 developers (67%) also expressed interest in seeing the recommendations in their bug tracking system