Software Analytics: So What? – Call for Articles (IEEE Software)

Software Analytics: So What?Call for Articles for a
Special Issue of IEEE Software
Submission Deadline: 15 December 2012
Publication: July/August 2013

Software analytics are studies of software that lead to actionable changes to projects. The feedback from analytics should alter decisions relating to the business, management, design, development, or marketing of software systems. These analytics can be applied to both the products of developers (design documents, code, emails between team members) and to data generated by running programs (usage patterns, economic effects of the running system). Often such analytics requires “big data” methods—visualizations or data mining of large datasets.

In this special issue, we seek answers to seemingly simple questions: Do these software analytics really work? In practice, what has actually been achieved? For a supposedly data-driven field, there are surprisingly few exemplar case studies in the literature—of both successes and failures—in this area. Hence we have no answer for the business user (or graduate student) who asks, “In this field, what are the best and worst practices, and why?”

The guest editors invite articles addressing the practical successes, as well as the practical drawbacks, of software analytics. Such analytics includes the application of data mining tools to SE data (but can also include combinations of automatic and manual data analysis). Topics for these submissions include but are not limited to the following:

  • the added value of software analytics to the business community (if, indeed, it exists);
  • the synergies (if any) that can be achieved by combining automatic and human insight about some industrial problems;
  • what happens when these methods fail and what we can learn from these failures;
  • lessons learned;
  • examples of successful and unsuccessful applications;
  • reports of big wins that demonstrate the business case for software analytics (including value-based concerns);
  • guidance on how to train an industrial user of software analytics;
  • ways to address management information needs with software analytics;
  • how to convert mere prediction models into decision models; and
  • how to take full advantage of combinations of automatic and manual analysis

Papers can be standard IEEE Software format or “short papers” that revisit and review prior publications discussing deployed examples of software analytics. Note that such short papers must be significant extensions to prior results (e.g. reports from field usage, performance statistics seen in several years of operation, user feedback, what authors might do differently a second time around, etc.).

Questions? For more information about the special issue, contact the guest editors Tim Menzies (West Virgina University, USA) and Thomas Zimmermann (Microsoft Research, USA).

Submission Guidelines
Manuscripts must not exceed 4,700 words including figures and tables, which count for 200 words each. Submissions in excess of these limits may be rejected without refereeing. The articles we deem within the theme and scope will be peer-reviewed and are subject to editing for magazine style, clarity, organization, and space. We reserve the right to edit the title of all submissions. Be sure to include the name of the theme or special issue you are submitting for. Articles should have a practical orientation and be written in a style accessible to practitioners. Overly complex, purely research-oriented or theoretical treatments are not appropriate. Articles should be novel. IEEE Software does not republish material published previously in other venues, including other periodicals and formal conference/workshop proceedings, whether previous publication was in print or in electronic form.

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