Mining Software Repositories with iSPAROL and a Software Evolution Ontology

TitleMining Software Repositories with iSPAROL and a Software Evolution Ontology
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKiefer, C, Bernstein, A, Tappolet, J
Secondary TitleFourth International Workshop on Mining Software RepositoriesFourth International Workshop on Mining Software Repositories (MSR'07:ICSE Workshops 2007)
Pagination10 - 10
Place PublishedMinneapolis, MN, USA
ISBN Number0-7695-2950-X
Keywordsdatabase, eclipse, evoont, java, owl, semantic, sparql

One of the most important decisions researchers face when analyzing the evolution of software systems is the choice of a proper data analysis/exchange format. Most existing formats have to be processed with special programs written specifically for that purpose and are not easily extendible. Most scientists, therefore, use their own database(s) requiring each of them to repeat the work of writing the import/export programs to their format.

We present EvoOnt, a software repository data exchange format based on the Web Ontology Language (OWL). EvoOnt includes software, release, and bug-related information. Since OWL describes the semantics of the data, EvoOnt is (1) easily extendible, (2) comes with many existing tools, and (3) allows to derive assertions through its inherent Description Logic reasoning capabilities.

The paper also shows iSPARQL -- our SPARQL-based Semantic Web query engine containing similarity joins. Together with EvoOnt, iSPARQL can accomplish a sizable number of tasks sought in software repository mining projects, such as an assessment of the amount of change between versions or the detection of bad code smells. To illustrate the usefulness of EvoOnt (and iSPARQL), we perform a series of experiments with a real-world Java project. These show that a number of software analyses can be reduced to simple iSPARQL queries on an EvoOnt dataset.

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