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Fragment retrieval on models for model maintenance: Applying a multi-objective perspective to an industrial case study

Context: Traceability Links Recovery (TLR), Bug Localization (BL), and Feature Location (FL) are amongst the most relevant tasks performed during software maintenance. However, most research in the field targets code, while models have not received enough attention yet.Objective: This paper presents our approach (FROM, Fragment Retrieval on Models) that uses an Evolutionary Algorithm to retrieve the most relevant model fragments for three different types of input queries: natural language requirements for TLR, bug descriptions for BL, and feature descriptions for FL.Method: FROM uses an Evolutionary Algorithm that generates model fragments through genetic operations, and assesses the relevance of each model fragment with regard to the provided query through a fitness configuration. We analyze the influence that four fitness configurations have over the results of FROM, combining three objectives: Similitude, Understandability, and Timing. To analyze this, we use a real-world case study from our industrial partner, which is a worldwide leader in train manufacturing. We record the results in terms of recall, precision, and F-measure. Moreover, results are compared against those obtained by a baseline, and a statistical analysis is performed to provide evidences of the significance of the results.Results: The results show that FROM can be applied in our industrial case study. Also, the results show that the configurations and the baseline have significant differences in performance for TLR, BL, and FL tasks. Moreover, our results show that there is no single configuration that is powerful enough to obtain the best results in all tasks.Conclusions: The type of task performed (TLR, BL, and FL) during the retrieval of model fragments has an actual impact on the results of the configurations of the Evolutionary Algorithm. Our findings suggest which configuration offers better results as well as the objectives that do not contribute to improve the results.

Improving feature location in long-living model-based product families designed with sustainability goals (YA PUBLICADO)

The benefits of Software Product Lines (SPL) are very appealing: software development becomes better, faster, and cheaper. Unfortunately, these benefits come at the expense of a migration from a family of products to a SPL. Feature Location could be useful in achieving the transition to SPLs. This work presents our FeLLaCaM approach for Feature Location. Our approach calculates similarity to a description of the feature to locate, occurrences where the candidate features remain unchanged, and changes performed to the candidate features throughout the retrospective of the product family. We evaluated our approach in two long-living industrial domains: a model-based family of firmwares for induction hobs that was developed over more than 15 years, and a model-based family of PLC software to control trains that was developed over more than 25 years. In our evaluation, we compare our FeLLaCaM approach with two other approaches for Feature Location: (1) FLL (Feature Location through Latent Semantic Analysis) and (2) FLC (Feature Location through Comparisons). We measure the performance of FeLLaCaM, FLL, and FLC in terms of recall, precision, Matthews Correlation Coefficient, and Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve. The results show that FeLLaCaM outperforms FLL and FLC.