Identifying Important Packages of Object-Oriented Software Using Weighted k-Core Decomposition

Journal of Intelligent Systems 23 (4):461-476 (2014)

Identifying important entities in software systems has many implications for effective resource allocation. Complex network research opens new opportunities for identifying important entities from software networks. However, the existing methods only focus on identifying important classes. Little work has been done on the identification of important packages. Moreover, the metrics they used to quantify the class importance are only designed for unweighted software networks and cannot fit in with the weighted software networks. To overcome these limitations, in this article, we introduce the weighted k-core decomposition method to identify the important packages. First, we use a weighted software network to describe packages and their internal dependencies. Second, we use Wk-core to partition a software network into a layered structure. Then, the packages that are denoted by the nodes within the main core are the identified important packages. To evaluate our method, we use a variant of the susceptible–infectious–recovered model to examine the spreading influence of the nodes in six real weighted software networks. The results show that our method can well identify influential nodes, better than other four methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate our method on two software networks and show that the important packages identified by our method are more meaningful from a software engineering perspective when compared with the other methods.
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DOI 10.1515/jisys-2014-0015
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