A comparison of programmers´ opinions in change impact analysis


  • Gabriella Tóth


Change impact analysis is generally regarded as a very difficult program comprehension problem. One of the reasons for this is that there is no universal definition for dependency between software artifacts, only algorithms that approximate the dependencies. In the past two decades, different kinds of algorithms have been developed by researchers. But which algorithm is the most suitable in a specific situation, which one finds the relevant dependencies in the best way? What kinds of dependencies are important for the programmers? What kinds of algorithms do they work with? Finding the most relevant dependencies is difficult, and it is essentially a creative mental task. A possible way to answer the above questions is to involve programmers in a survey, and listen to their subjective opinions based on expertise and experience in program comprehension. In this paper, we present the results of our survey on this theme. We wanted to know what the difference was between the results of some well-known algorithms and programmers´ opinions and, in addition, among programmers´ opinions as well. Hence we conducted a case study.


Change impact analysis, software dependencies, JRipples, BEFRIEND

How to Cite

Tóth, G. “A comparison of programmers´ opinions in change impact analysis”, Periodica Polytechnica Electrical Engineering, 54(3-4), pp. 111–121, 2010. https://doi.org/10.3311/pp.ee.2010-3-4.05