Connection Between Version Control Operations and Quality Change of the Source Code

TitleConnection Between Version Control Operations and Quality Change of the Source Code
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsFaragó C, Hegedűs P, Végh ZÁdám, Ferenc R
JournalActa Cybernetica
KeywordsCase Study, ISO/IEC 9126, Software Erosion, Software maintainability, Source Code Version Control

Software erosion is a well-known phenomena, meaning that software quality is continuously decreasing due to the ever-ongoing modifications in the source code. In this research work we investigated this phenomena by studying the impact of version control commit operations (add, update, delete) on the quality of the code. We calculated the ISO/IEC 9126 quality attributes for thousands of revisions of an industrial and three open-source software systems with the help of the Columbus Quality Model. We also collected the cardinality of each version control operation type for every investigated revision. We performed Chisquared tests on contingency tables with rows of quality change and columns of version control operation commit types. We compared the results with random data as well. We identified that the relationship between the version control operations and quality change is quite strong. Great maintainability improvements are mostly caused by commits containing Add operation. Commits containing file updates only tend to have a negative impact on the quality. Deletions have a weak connection with quality, and we could not formulate a general statement.

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