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Using Information Scent to Model the Dynamic Foraging Behavior of Programmers in Maintenance Tasks

TitleUsing Information Scent to Model the Dynamic Foraging Behavior of Programmers in Maintenance Tasks
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLawrance, J., R. Bellamy, M. M. Burnett, and K. Rector
Conference NameACM CHI 2008
Pagination1323–1332
Date Published04/2008
PublisherACM
Conference LocationFlorence, Italy
ISBN Number978-1-60558-011-1
Keywordsdebugging, information foraging, software maintenance
Abstract

In recent years, the software engineering community has begun to study program navigation and tools to support it. Some of these navigation tools are very useful, but they lack a theoretical basis that could reduce the need for ad hoc tool building approaches by explaining what is fundamentally necessary in such tools. In this paper, we present PFIS (Programmer Flow by Information Scent), a model and algorithm of programmer navigation during software maintenance. We also describe an experimental study of expert programmers debugging real bugs described in real bug reports for a real Java application. We found that PFIS' performance was close to aggregated human decisions as to where to navigate, and was significantly better than individual programmers' decisions.

Notes

Best Paper Honorable Mention

URLhttp://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1357054.1357261
DOI10.1145/1357054.1357261