Determining developers' expertise and role: A graph hierarchy-based approach

Pamela Bhattacharya, Iulian Neamtiu, Michalis Faloutsos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determining contributors' expertise, role, and individual importance are fundamental for assessing their impact on a software project. Currently-used expertise metrics are agnostic to contributor roles and can lead to incorrect characterizations. To address these issues, we operationalize contributor expertise and role. First, we revisit current expertise metrics and show that their use bundles many different aspects, creating ambiguity. Second, we introduce clearly-defined contributor roles, which capture multiple project facets. Third, we propose a graph model, based on contributor collaborations, that captures the hierarchical structure of the contributor community in a concise yet informative way. We demonstrate the model's usefulness in two ways: (a) for identifying the structure and evolution of contributor interactions, (b) for predicting contributor roles. We substantiate our study using two large open-source projects, Fire fox and Eclipse. Our systematic approach clarifies and isolates contributor role and expertise, and sheds light onto the dynamics of contributors within software projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 30th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages11-20
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780769553030
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event30th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2014 - Victoria, Canada
Duration: Sep 28 2014Oct 3 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - 30th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2014

Other

Other30th International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution, ICSME 2014
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVictoria
Period9/28/1410/3/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software

Keywords

  • Developer expertise
  • Empirical studies
  • Software network analysis

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