Predicting stability of open-source software systems using combination of bayesian classifiers

Salah Bouktif, Houari Sahraoui, Faheem Ahmed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The use of free and Open-Source Software (OSS) systems is gaining momentum. Organizations are also now adopting OSS, despite some reservations, particularly about the quality issues. Stability of software is one of the main features in software quality management that needs to be understood and accurately predicted. It deals with the impact resulting from software changes and argues that stable components lead to a cost-effective software evolution. Changes are most common phenomena present in OSS in comparison to proprietary software. This makes OSS system evolution a rich context to study and predict stability. Our objective in this work is to build stability prediction models that are not only accurate but also interpretable, that is, able to explain the link between the architectural aspects of a software component and its stability behavior in the context of OSS. Therefore, we propose a new approach based on classifiers combination capable of preserving prediction interpretability. Our approach is classifier-structure dependent. Therefore, we propose a particular solution for combining Bayesian classifiers in order to derive a more accurate composite classifier that preserves interpretability. This solution is implemented using a genetic algorithm and applied in the context of an OSS large-scale system, namely the standard Java API. The empirical results show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art approaches from both machine learning and software engineering.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3
    JournalACM Transactions on Management Information Systems
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


    • Bayesian classifiers
    • Genetic algorithm
    • Software stability prediction

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Management Information Systems
    • General Computer Science


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