The Supportive Effect of Traceability Links in Change Impact Analysis for Evolving Architectures -- Two Controlled Experiments

The Supportive Effect of Traceability Links in Change Impact Analysis for Evolving Architectures -- Two Controlled Experiments

Abstract

The documentation of software architecture relations as a kind of traceability information is considered important to help people understand the consequences or ripple-effects of architecture evolution. Traceability information provides a basis for analysing and evaluating software evolution, and consequently, it can be used for tasks like reuse evaluation and improvement throughout the evolution of software. To date, however, none of the published empirical studies on software architecture traceability have examined the validity of these propositions. In this paper, we hypothesize that impact analysis of changes in software architecture can be more efficient when supported by traceability links. To test this hypothesis, we designed two controlled experiments that were conducted to investigate the influence of traceability links on the quantity and quality of retrieved assets during architecture evolution analysis. The results provide statistical evidence that a focus on architecture traceability significantly reduces the quantity of missing and incorrect assets, and increases the overall quality of architecture impact analysis for evolution.

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Authors
  • Javed, Muhammad Atif
  • Zdun, Uwe
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Projects
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Shortfacts
Category
Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Full Paper in Proceedings)
Event Title
14th International Conference on Software Reuse
Divisions
Software Architecture
Subjects
Informatik Allgemeines
Software Engineering
Event Location
Miami (Florida), US
Event Type
Conference
Event Dates
4-6 January 2015
Date
January 2015
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