We are happy to announce that our paper “Using (Bio)Metrics to Predict Code Quality Online”, written by Sebastian Müller and Thomas Fritz, was one of the most downloaded software engineering articles in June and July 2016. With 1709 downloads in 6 weeks, it scored the second place of all ACM software engineering articles. According to ACM, this is the first time that any paper was downloaded more than 1000 times.
Image source: ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes. Volume 41 Number 4.
The paper investigates the use of biometrics, such as heart rate variability (HRV) or electro-dermal activity (EDA) to determine the difficulty that developers experience while working on real world change tasks and automatically identify code quality concerns while a developer is making a change to the code. It can be accessed here.
We summarized our research on using biometrics to assess developers’ cognitive and emotional states in a blogpost on the IEEE Software blog. Check out the blogpost: http://blog.ieeesoftware.org/2016/01/using-biometrics-to-assess-developers.html
We are very happy to announce that our research group got two papers and a technical briefing accepted at ICSE 2016 in Austin, Texas.
The first accepted paper entitled “The Impact of Test Case Summaries on Bug Fixing Performance: An Empirical Investigation” was written in collaboration with the University of Delft. The authors of the paper are : Sebastiano Panichella, Annibale Panichella, Moritz Beller, Andy Zaidman and Harald Gall.
Abstract: “Automated test generation tools have been widely investigated with the goal of reducing the cost of testing activities. However, generated tests have been shown not to help developers in detecting and finding more bugs even though they reach higher structural coverage compared to manual testing. The main reason is that generated tests are difficult to understand and maintain.
Our paper proposes an approach which automatically generates test case summaries of the portion of code exercised by each individual test, thereby improving understandability. We argue that this approach can complement the current techniques around automated unit test generation or search-based techniques designed to generate a possibly minimal set of test cases. In evaluating our approach we found that (1) developers find twice as many bugs, and (2) test case summaries significantly improve the comprehensibility of test cases, which is considered particularly useful by developers.”
A preprint of the paper can be found online.
The second paper is entitled “Using (Bio)Metrics to Predict Code Quality Online” and was written by Sebastian Müller and Thomas Fritz. The paper investigates the use of biometrics, such as heart rate variability (HRV) or electro-dermal activity (EDA) to determine the difficulty that developers experience while working on real world change tasks and automatically identify code quality concerns while a developer is making a change to the code.
A preprint of the paper will be available soon.
Additionally, we had a technical briefing on “Using Docker Containers to Improve Reproducibility in Software Engineering Research”, by Jürgen Cito and Harald Gall, accepted, where we will present opportunities to aid reproducibility to the SE community.
We are happy to announce that the paper “iTrace: Enabling Eye Tracking on Software Artifacts within the IDE to Support Software Engineering Tasks” got accepted at the ESEC/FSE Tool Demo Track! The paper was written in collaboration with Timothy Shaffer, Jenna Wise, Braden Walters, Michael Falcone, and Bonita Sharif from the Youngstown State University in USA.
The paper presents iTrace, an Eclipse plugin that implicitly records developers’ eye movements while they work on change tasks. iTrace records eye movements on various types of software artifacts (Java code, text/html/xml documents, diagrams), as well as Eclipse user interface elements. Currently, the X60 and EyeX eye trackers from Tobii are supported, but iTrace is designed for easy addition of new devices.
This video provides a short demonstration of iTrace:
A preprint of the paper can be found online.
Our paper “Stuck and Frustrated or In Flow and Happy: Sensing Developers’ Emotions and Progress” by Sebastian Müller and Thomas Fritz was accepted for ICSE 2015 and a preprint of the paper is now available.
The paper presents a study that investigates developers’ emotions and progress while working on a change task and how biometric measurements, such as heart rate or pupil sizes, can be used to assess them. In the study with 17 participants working on two change tasks each, the participants were wearing three biometric sensors and had to periodically assess their emotions and progress.
The results show that the wide range of emotions experienced by developers is correlated with their perceived progress on the change tasks. To investigate whether we can use biometric sensors to distinguish between positive and negative emotions as well as episodes of low and high progress that developers experience during change tasks, we applied a machine learning approach to the collected data.
Over the course of the participants’ work on both change tasks we collected biometric data for a total of 213 intervals. The following figure illustrates a set of four such intervals together with the collected EDA and the heart rate signal as well as the participant’s emotion and progress ratings. Especially for the EDA signal, the example shows a visible difference between the first episode with medium progress and higher valence compared to the last episode with the developer being stuck and a lower valence.
Our analysis shows that we can build a classifier to distinguish between positive and negative emotions in 71.36% and between low and high progress in 67.70% of all cases. These results open up opportunities for improving a developer’s productivity. For instance, one could use such a classifier for providing recommendations at opportune moments when a developer is stuck and making no progress.
The preprint of the paper can be downloaded here.
We are excited to inform you that our paper “Stuck and Frustrated or In Flow and Happy: Sensing Developers’ Emotions and Progress” got accepted for ICSE 2015, taking place in Florence, Italy.
Our paper “Would Static Analysis Tools Help Developers with Code Reviews?” has been accepted as full research paper for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering in Montreal, Canada.
Our paper “SQA-Profiles: Rule-based Activity Profiles for Continuous Integration Environments” has has been accepted as full research paper for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering in Montreal, Canada.
More information about the approach is available on the project’s website: http://www.ifi.uzh.ch/seal/people/brandtner/projects/sqa-profiles.html
Last week, a couple of seals attended the International Conference on Software Engineering 2014 (ICSE 2014) as well as the co-located Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories 2014 (MSR 2014) in Hyderabad, India.
Katja Kevic presented her NIER paper on “Automatic Search Term Identification for Change Tasks” at ICSE and her paper “A Dictionary to Translate Change Tasks to Source Code” at MSR.
Sebastian Müller and Andrew Begel presented their paper “Using Psycho-Physiological Measures to Assess Task Difficulty in Software Development” at the ICSE main research track.
New project “ESSENTIALS – People-Centric Essentials for Software Evolution” was accepted by the SNF / www.snf.ch. The project is in collaboration with Prof. Michele Lanza from the University of Lugano (USI) and will fund 4 PhD students.