e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal Machine Learning or Information Retrieval Techniques for Bug Triaging: Which is better?

Machine Learning or Information Retrieval Techniques for Bug Triaging: Which is better?

[1]Anjali Goyal and Neetu Sardana, "Machine Learning or Information Retrieval Techniques for Bug Triaging: Which is better?", In e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 117–141, 2017. DOI: 10.5277/e-Inf170106.

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Anjali Goyal, Neetu Sardana


Bugs are the inevitable part of a software system. Nowadays, large software development projects even release beta versions of their products to gather bug reports from users. The collected bug reports are then worked upon by various developers in order to resolve the defects and make the final software product more reliable. The high frequency of incoming bugs makes the bug handling a difficult and time consuming task. Bug assignment is an integral part of bug triaging that aims at the process of assigning a suitable developer for the reported bug who corrects the source code in order to resolve the bug. There are various semi and fully automated techniques to ease the task of bug assignment. This paper presents the current state of the art of various techniques used for bug report assignment. Through exhaustive research, the authors have observed that machine learning and information retrieval based bug assignment approaches are most popular in literature. A deeper investigation has shown that the trend of techniques is taking a shift from machine learning based approaches towards information retrieval based approaches. Therefore, the focus of this work is to find the reason behind the observed drift and thus a comparative analysis is conducted on the bug reports of the Mozilla, Eclipse, Gnome and Open Office projects in the Bugzilla repository. The results of the study show that the information retrieval based technique yields better efficiency in recommending the developers for bug reports.


bug triaging, bug report assignment, developer recommendation, machine learning, information retrieval


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