Who should review this change? putting text and file location analyses together for more accurate recommendations

Xin Xia, David Lo, Xinyu Wang, Xiaohu Yang

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

84 Citations (Scopus)


Software code review is a process of developers inspecting new code changes made by others, to evaluate their quality and identify and fix defects, before integrating them to the main branch of a version control system. Modern Code Review (MCR), a lightweight and tool-based variant of conventional code review, is widely adopted in both open source and proprietary software projects. One challenge that impacts MCR is the assignment of appropriate developers to review a code change. Considering that there could be hundreds of potential code reviewers in a software project, picking suitable reviewers is not a straightforward task. A prior study by Thongtanunam et al. showed that the difficulty in selecting suitable reviewers may delay the review process by an average of 12 days. In this paper, to address the challenge of assigning suitable reviewers to changes, we propose a hybrid and incremental approach Tie which utilizes the advantages of both Text mIning and a filE location-based approach. To do this, Tie integrates an incremental text mining model which analyzes the textual contents in a review request, and a similarity model which measures the similarity of changed file paths and reviewed file paths. We perform a large-scale experiment on four open source projects, namely Android, OpenStack, QT, and LibreOffice, containing a total of 42,045 reviews. The experimental results show that on average Tie can achieve top-1, top-5, and top-10 accuracies, and Mean Reciprocal Rank (MRR) of 0.52, 0.79, 0.85, and 0.64 for the four projects, which improves the state-of-the-art approach RevFinder, proposed by Thongtanunam et al., by 61%, 23%, 8%, and 37%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2015 IEEE 31st International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME) Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationSeptember 29 – October 1, 2015 Bremen, Germany
EditorsJens Krinke, Martin Robillard
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ NYC
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781467375320
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventIEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution 2015 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: 29 Sept 20151 Oct 2015
Conference number: 31st
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/conhome/7321954/proceeding (Proceedings)


ConferenceIEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance and Evolution 2015
Abbreviated titleICSME 2015
Internet address


  • Modern Code Review
  • Path Similarity
  • Recommendation System
  • Text Mining

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