A Systematic Review of Attributes and Techniques for Open Source Software Evolution Analysis

A Systematic Review of Attributes and Techniques for Open Source Software Evolution Analysis

Munish Saini (Guru Nanak Dev University, India) and Kuljit Kaur Chahal (Guru Nanak Dev University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5314-4.ch001
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Abstract

Many studies have been conducted to understand the evolution process of Open Source Software (OSS). The researchers have used various techniques for understanding the OSS evolution process from different perspectives. This chapter reports a meta-data analysis of the systematic literature review on the topic in order to understand its current state and to identify opportunities for the future. This research identified 190 studies, selected against a set of questions, for discussion. It categorizes the research studies into nine categories. Based on the results obtained from the systematic review, there is evidence of a shift in the metrics and methods for OSS evolution analysis over the period of time. The results suggest that there is a lack of a uniform approach to analyzing and interpreting the results. There is need of more empirical work using a standard set of techniques and attributes to verify the phenomenon governing the OSS projects. This will help to advance the field and establish a theory of software evolution.
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2. Research Methodology

The review process follows a systematic review protocol (Kitchenham, 2007) so as to reduce the research bias. The review process included the following steps: 1) Defining the research questions, 2) Choosing a search strategy and study selection criteria, and 3) Data Extraction and Synthesis.

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