Title
Automatic identification of key classes in a software system using webmining techniques Automatic identification of key classes in a software system using webmining techniques
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Mathematics and Computer Science
Publication type
article
Publication
Chichester ,
Subject
Computer. Automation
Source (journal)
Journal of software maintenance and evolution : research and practice. - Chichester, 2001 - 2011
Volume/pages
20(2008) :6 , p. 387-417
ISSN
1532-060X
ISI
000261810900001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Software engineers new to a project are often stuck sorting through hundreds of classes in order to find those few classes that offer a significant insight into the inner workings of the software project. To help stimulate this process, we propose a technique that can identify the most important classes in a system or the key classes of that system. Software engineers can use these classes to focus their understanding efforts when starting to work on a new software project. Those key classes are typically characterized with having a lot of control within the application. In order to find these controlling classes, we present a detection approach that is based on dynamic coupling and webmining. We demonstrate the potential of our technique using two open-source software systems that have a rich documentation set. During the case studies we use dynamically gathered coupling information that vary between a number of coupling metrics. The case studies show that we are able to retrieve 90% of the classes deemed important by the original maintainers of the systems, while maintaining a level of precision of around 50%.
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