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Requirements Communication in Issue Tracking Systems in Four Open-Source Projects

  • [Context and motivation] Communication in distributed software development is usually supported by issue tracking systems. Within these systems, most of the communication is stored as unstructured natural language text. The natural language text, however, contains much information with respect to requirements management, e.g. discussion, clarification and prioritization of features, bugs, and refactorings. [Question] This paper investigates the information stored in the issue tracking systems of four different open-source projects. It categorizes the text and reports on the distribution of issue types and information types. [Principal ideas/results] A manual analysis of 80 issues, using a grounded approach, is conducted to derive a taxonomy of issue types and information types. Subsequently, the taxonomy is used as a codebook, to manually categorize and structure the text in another 120 issues. [Contribution] The first contribution of this paper is the taxonomy of issue and information types and the second contribution is an in-depth analysis of the natural language data and the communication. This analysis showed, for example, that information with respect to prioritization and scheduling can be found in natural language data, whether the ITS supports such tasks in a structured way or not.

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Document Type:Conference Object
Author:Thorsten Merten, Bastian Mager, Paul Hübner, Thomas Quirchmayr, Barbara Paech, Simone Bürsner
Parent Title (English):Matulevičius, Weyer et al. (Eds.): Joint Proceedings of REFSQ-2015 Workshops, Research Method Track, and Poster Track co-located with the 21st International Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality (REFSQ 2015). Essen, Germany, March 23, 2015. CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol-1342
First Page:114
Last Page:125
Publication year:2015
Tag:Content Analysis; Empirical Study; Grounded Method; Information Types; Issue Tracking Systems; Issue Types; Requirements Communication; Taxonomy
Departments, institutes and facilities:Fachbereich Informatik
Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC):0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
Entry in this database:2015/04/02