Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Taxonomy of Bug Tracking Process Smells. Perceptions of Practitioners and an Empirical Analysis


Khushbakht Ali Qamar
MS Student
(Supervisor: Asst. Prof. Dr. Eray Tüzün )
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

Abstract: Bug tracking is the process of monitoring and reporting malfunctions or issues found in software. While there is no consensus on a formally specified bug tracking process, some certain rules and best practices for an optimal bug tracking process are accepted by many companies and open-source software (OSS) projects. Despite slight variations between different platforms, the primary aim of all these rules and practices is to perform a more efficient bug tracking process. Practitioners' non-compliance with the best practices not only impedes the benefits of the bug tracking process but also negatively affects the other phases of the life cycle of software development. The goal of this study is to gain a better knowledge of the bad practices that occur during the bug tracking process, that is bug tracking process smells. In this study, based on the results of a multivocal literature review, we analyzed 60 sources in academic and gray literature and propose a taxonomy of 12 bad practices in the bug tracking process, that is bug tracking process smells. To quantitatively analyze these process smells, we inspected bug reports collected from six projects (four of them are Jira-based and the other two are Bugzilla-based). To get an idea about the perception of practitioners about the taxonomy of bug tracking process smells, we conducted a targeted survey with 30 software practitioners from different countries. Moreover, we statistically analyzed the impact of bug tracking process smells on the resolution time and reopening count of bugs. We observed from our empirical results that a considerable amount of bug tracking process smells exist in all projects and some of the process smell categories have a statistically significant impact on quality and speed. Survey results showed that the majority of software practitioners agree with our taxonomy of BT process smells. The empirical analysis reveals that bug tracking process smells have a significant impact on OSS projects. In practice, the proposed taxonomy may serve as a foundation for best practices and tool assistance for detecting and avoiding bug tracking process smells.


DATE: 11 January 2022, Tuesday @ 14:30 Zoom