Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Investigating the Validity of Ground Truth in Code Reviewer Recommendation Studies


Emre Doğan
MS Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Selecting the ideal code reviewer in modern code review is a crucial first step to perform effective code reviews. There are several algorithms proposed in the literature for recommending the ideal code reviewer for a given pull request. The success of these code reviewer recommendation algorithms is measured by comparing the recommended reviewers with the ground truth that is the assigned reviewers selected in real life. However, in practice, the assigned reviewer may not be the ideal reviewer for a given pull request. In this study, we investigate the validity of ground truth data in code reviewer recommendation studies. By conducting an informal literature review, we compared the reviewer selection heuristics in real life and the algorithms used in recommendation models. We further support our claims by using empirical data from code reviewer recommendation studies. By literature review, and accompanying empirical data, we show that ground truth data used in code reviewer recommendation studies is potentially problematic. This reduces the validity of the code reviewer datasets and the reviewer recommendation studies. We demonstrated the cases where the ground truth in code reviewer recommendation studies are invalid and discussed the potential solutions to address this issue.


DATE: 25 November 2019, Monday @ 17:10