On the Effects of Traceability Links in Differently Sized Software Systems

On the Effects of Traceability Links in Differently Sized Software Systems

Abstract

Context: None of the published empirical studies on software traceability have comparatively examined the support for differently sized systems. Objective: This paper reports on two controlled experiments performed with two Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) systems that are comparable in terms of support features and system structure, but are different in their size, in particular, UltraESB Version 2.3.0 and PetalsESB Version 4.2.0, to investigate the effects of system size on the use of traceability links. Method: We conducted two controlled experiments in which the same impact evaluation activities were performed and measured how the control groups (provided with no traceability information) and the experiment groups (provided with traceability information) performed these activities in terms of the quantity and quality of retrieved elements. Results: Our findings show that the 133.71% larger size of one of ESBs does not have a significant influence on the quantity and quality of retrieved elements in the experiment groups. In the control groups, in contrast, this increase in system size significantly increases the quantity of incorrect elements and reduces the overall quality of elements retrieved, while no conclusive evidence concerning the quantity of missing elements was found. Conclusion: It is concluded that traceability is more important in larger software systems.

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Authors
  • Javed, Muhammad Atif
  • Zdun, Uwe
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Shortfacts
Category
Paper in Conference Proceedings or in Workshop Proceedings (Full Paper in Proceedings)
Event Title
EASE 2015 - 19th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering
Divisions
Software Architecture
Subjects
Informatik Allgemeines
Software Engineering
Event Location
Nanjing, China
Event Type
Conference
Event Dates
April 27-29, 2015
Date
April 2015
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