Comparing communication and development networks for predicting file change proneness: An exploratory study considering process and social metrics

Igor Scaliante Wiese, Douglas Nassif Junior, Reginaldo Ré, Igor Fabio Steinmacher, Marco Aurelio Gerosa


Previous studies have shown that social factors of software engineering influence software quality. Communication and development networks represent the interactions among software developers. We explored the statistical relationships between file change proneness and a set metrics extracted from the issue tracker and version control system data to find the relative importance of each metric inunderstanding the evolution of file changes in the Rails project. Using hierarchical analysis, we found that code churn, number of past changes, and number of developers explain the evolution of changes in the Rails project better than Social NetworkAnalysis (SNA) metrics. Considering the relative importance of each predictor, wegot the same results. We also conducted a factor analysis and found that social metrics contribute to explain a group of files different from those explained by process metrics.

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