Hipikat: a project memory for software development. Sociological and technical difficulties, such as a lack of informal encounters, can make it difficult for new members of noncollocated software development teams to learn from their more experienced colleagues. To address this situation, we have developed a tool, named Hipikat that provides developers with efficient and effective access to the group memory for a software development project that is implicitly formed by all of the artifacts produced during the development. This project memory is built automatically with little or no change to existing work practices. After describing the Hipikat tool, we present two studies investigating Hipikat’s usefulness in software modification tasks. One study evaluated the usefulness of Hipikat’s recommendations on a sample of 20 modification tasks performed on the Eclipse Java IDE during the development of release 2.1 of the Eclipse software. We describe the study, present quantitative measures of Hipikat’s performance, and describe in detail three cases that illustrate a range of issues that we have identified in the results. In the other study, we evaluated whether software developers who are new to a project can benefit from the artifacts that Hipikat recommends from the project memory. We describe the study, present qualitative observations, and suggest implications of using project memory as a learning aid for project newcomers.

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  1. Zhang, Jie; Wang, Xiaoyin; Hao, Dan; Xie, Bing; Zhang, Lu; Mei, Hong: A survey on bug-report analysis (2015)
  2. Zhang, Weiqiang; Nie, Liming; Jiang, He; Chen, Zhenyu; Liu, Jia: Developer social networks in software engineering: construction, analysis, and applications (2014)
  3. Lungu, Mircea; Lanza, Michele; G{^ı}rba, Tudor; Robbes, Romain: The small project observatory: visualizing software ecosystems (2010)
  4. Sanchez-Segura, Maria-Isabel; Medina-Dominguez, Fuensanta; De Amescua, Antonio; Mora-Soto, Arturo: Improving the efficiency of use of software engineering practices using product patterns (2010)
  5. Omoronyia, Inah; Ferguson, John D.; Roper, Marc; Wood, Murray: Using developer activity data to enhance awareness during collaborative software development (2009)
  6. Voinea, Lucian; Telea, Alexandru: Visual querying and analysis of large software repositories (2009)
  7. Cleary, Brendan; Exton, Chris; Buckley, Jim; English, Michael: An empirical analysis of information retrieval based concept location techniques in software comprehension (2008)
  8. Poshyvanyk, Denys; Marcus, Andrian; Ferenc, Rudolf; Gyimóthy, Tibor: Using information retrieval based coupling measures for impact analysis (2008)
  9. Zhao, Wei; Zhang, Lu; Sun, Jiasu; Mei, Hong: An objective-oriented approach to program comprehension using multiple information sources (2008)
  10. Storey, Margaret-Anne D.: Theories, tools and research methods in program comprehension: Past, present and future. (2006)