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CVSgrab: Mining the History of Large Software Projects

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Abstract

Many software projects use Software Configuration Management systems to support their development process. Such systems accumulate in time large amounts of information useful for process accounting and auditing. We study how software developers can get insight in this information in order to understand the project context and the product artifacts. To this end, we propose several new techniques for visual mining of project evolution. Central to our approach is a file-based evolution visualization, where each project is shown as a set of horizontal stripes depicting files along the time axis. We propose several mechanisms for interactively building layouts in this display, and for correlating the evolution with the results of various software metrics. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach on real-life data sets.

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