Technical Report

 

The Evolution of Software Entropy in Open Source projects: An Empirical Study Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/technical_reports/n296x5406

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  • Software entropy impacts the overall quality of software systems. High entropy hinders developers from understanding the purpose of a piece of code and can cause developers to make sub-optimal changes and introduce bugs. Researchers have used entropy scores to measure the naturalness of code. However, thus far, no one has investigated how entropy evolves in real-life software over time and how that relates to software evolution. We perform a large scale study of 158 open-source Java projects and find that in general, entropy shows an increasing trend among the open-source projects.We also find that on average week wise entropy of a project has a moderate correlation with project metrics (number of active contributors per week, total methods per week, and total files per week) used to investigate project evolution. Our findings contribute to understanding the evolution of software entropy, which hint towards the need for tools to provide real-time entropy scores to the developers to help them organize the code.
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