A human study of patch maintainability

8 years 5 months ago
A human study of patch maintainability
Identifying and fixing defects is a crucial and expensive part of the software lifecycle. Measuring the quality of bug-fixing patches is a difficult task that affects both functional correctness and the future maintainability of the code base. Recent research interest in automatic patch generation makes a systematic understanding of patch maintainability and understandability even more critical. We present a human study involving over 150 participants, 32 real-world defects, and 40 distinct patches. In the study, humans perform tasks that demonstrate their understanding of the control flow, state, and maintainability aspects of code patches. As a baseline we use both human-written patches that were later reverted and also patches that have stood the test of time to ground our results. To address any potential lack of readability with machine-generated patches, we propose a system wherein such patches are augmented with synthesized, human-readable documentation that summarizes thei...
Zachary P. Fry, Bryan Landau, Westley Weimer
Added 28 Sep 2012
Updated 28 Sep 2012
Type Journal
Year 2012
Authors Zachary P. Fry, Bryan Landau, Westley Weimer
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