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IMPEX: An Approach to Analyze Source Code Changes on Software Run Behavior

DOI: 10.4236/jsea.2013.64020, PP. 157-167

Keywords: Change Impact, Change Prediction, Quality Assurance, Software Development

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Abstract:

The development of software nowadays is getting more complex due to the need to use software programs to accomplish more elaborated tasks. Developers may have a hard time knowing what could happen to the software when making changes. To support the developer in reducing the uncertainty of the impact on the software run behavior due to changes in the source code, this paper presents a tool called IMPEX which analyzes the differences in the source code and differences on the run behavior of two subsequent software versions, in the entire repository, demonstrating to the developer the impact that a change in the source code has had on the software run, over the whole software history. This impact helps the developers in knowing what is affected during execution due to their changes in the source code. This study verifies that the software runs that are most impacted by a given change in the source code, have higher chances in being impacted in the future whenever this part of the code is changed again. The approach taken in this paper was able to precisely predict what would be impacted on the software execution when a change in the source code was made in 70% of the cases.

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