You are here

Title: An Empirical Study of the Human Process of Transplantation


Speaker: Arwa Alamoudi, MSc |  Software Engineering Department, CCIS, KSU.


Open source codes enable every developer the opportunity to share codes, allowing them to migrate an already existing code from a pre-existing source to their own project. A new research area concentrating on the automatic movement of organs from one codebase into another has recently emerged–an area referred to as autotransplantation. Recent studies have introduced various approaches to autotransplanting code between different programs and locations. This area offers a new line of research, reflected in the fact that the literature offers little information on the transplantation process in terms of either research or empirical studies. To be able to explore an area of research and build a supporting framework of literature on existing and future transplantation tools, we need to understand how developers usually transplant functions; how they extract the necessary code, alter it, and insert it into their codebase. To do so, this paper begins by proposing two unique definitions for an organ, and then explores various approaches that will help us inspect the histories of open source projects in version control systems to find these organs. These approaches are designed to help us overcome two challenging problems associated with open source projects and version control systems–traceability problem and visibility problem. By applying these approaches, we were able to find three organs, all within the Firefox repository. After finding them, we analysed them to understand their migration procedures and the changes applied to them. Results show that organ transplantation usually occurs within three consecutive commits, and that different developers follow different procedures when transplanting organs. We also found that the efforts taken by developers to edit the organs they found range between 26.9% and 68.9% of the total organ size.

Ms. Arwa Alamoudi:

In 2012, Ms. Arwa received her bachelor degree from the College of Computer and Information Sciences in the field of Information Technology at King Saud University. Since then, she worked as a teaching assistant at Software Engineering department at KSU. She enrolled in the MSc program at University College London in 2013 and in late 2015, she was awarded a master’s degree in Software Systems Engineering from University College London in the UK. Her current areas of interest are Autotransplatation, Software Testing, Assistive Technology and Islamic and Arabic related topics.

Date/Time: Tuesday, January 26, 2016 at 12:00pm

Location: Khadija Auditorium, F49 in Building 6  - Broadcast to Room 2084 in CCIS Building 31