Improving Bug Triage with Bug Tossing Graphs – ESEC/FSE 2009

A bug report is typically assigned to a single developer who is then responsible for fixing the bug. In Mozilla and Eclipse, between 37%-44% of bug reports are “tossed” (reassigned) to other developers, for example because the bug has been assigned by accident or another developer with additional expertise is needed. In any case, tossing increases the time-to-correction for a bug.

In this paper, we introduce a graph model based on Markov chains, which captures bug tossing history. This model has several desirable qualities. First, it reveals developer networks which can be used to discover team structures and to find suitable experts for a new task. Second, it helps to better assign developers to bug reports. In our experiments with 445,000 bug reports, our model reduced tossing events, by up to 72%. In addition, the model increased the prediction accuracy by up to 23 percentage points compared to traditional bug triaging approaches.

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