Augmenting Bus Factor Analysis with Visualization
Muhammad Umair Ahmed
(Supervisor: Asst.Prof.Eray Tüzün )
Computer Engineering Department
Abstract: ‘Bus factor’, also known as ‘truck factor’, is a measure of how vulnerable a software project is based on the minimum number of people who would have to leave the project (be ‘hit by a bus’) for it to stall. There is existing research on how to calculate bus factor for software projects but limited work on visualizing the bus factor. We believe providing visualization along with conventionally provided numerical bus factor results will help decision-makers manage the workload and knowledge distribution across the project and also help in planning and hiring decisions. This thesis proposes, implements, and evaluates a tool to visualize bus factor and contributions for software projects from pre-processed Git history. It is a web application that provides a file-browser-like interface with an interactively navigable treemap with filtering, individual contribution data, and simulation of contributor departure. It is validated with a round of four user evaluations where users, ranging from project owners and engineering managers to developers, complete tasks using the tool on an open-source project that they are involved in and provide feedback with a semi-structured interview and a feature ranking activity. The overall task completion rate for the tasks was 79.55%. All case study participants preferred BFViz over text reports to understand bus factor data. The top 3 features, by mean ranking, were the contributors’ list, the files and folders’ visualization, and the simulation mode.
DATE: January 25, Thursday @ 13:30 EA-409