An empirical study of bug fixing rate

Weiqin Zou, Xin Xia, Weiqiang Zhang, Zhenyu Chen, David Lo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Bug fixing is one of the most important activities in software development and maintenance. A software project often employs an issue tracking system such as Bugzilla to store and manage their bugs. In the issue tracking system, many bugs are invalid but take unnecessary efforts to identify them. In this paper, we mainly focus on bug fixing rate, i.e., The proportion of the fixed bugs in the reported closed bugs. In particular, we study the characteristics of bug fixing rate and investigate the impact of a reporter's different contribution behaviors to the bug fixing rate. We perform an empirical study on all reported bugs of two large open source software communities Eclipse and Mozilla. We find (1) the bug fixing rates of both projects are not high, (2) there exhibits a negative correlation between a reporter's bug fixing rate and the average time cost to close the bugs he/she reports, (3) the amount of bugs a reporter ever fixed has a strong positive impact on his/her bug fixing rate, (4) reporters' bug fixing rates have no big difference, whether their contribution behaviors concentrate on a few products or across many products, (5) reporters' bug fixing rates tend to increase as time goes on, i.e., Developers become more experienced at reporting bugs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2015 IEEE 39th Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2015
Subtitle of host publication1–5 July 2015 Taichung, Taiwan
EditorsSheikh Iqbal Ahamed, Carl K. Chang, William Chu, Ivica Crnkovic, Pao-Ann Hsiung, Gang Huang, Jingwei Yang
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781467365635
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Computer Software and Applications Conference 2015 - Taichung, Taiwan
Duration: 1 Jul 20155 Jul 2015
Conference number: 39th (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Computer Software and Applications Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleCOMPSAC 2015
Internet address


  • Bug Fixing Rate
  • Bug Reports
  • Empirical Study
  • Statistical Analysis

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