Multi-layered Approach for Recovering Links between
Bug Reports and Fixes

Anh Tuan Nguyen, Tung Thanh Nguyen, Hoan Anh Nguyen, Tien N. Nguyen




The links between the bug reports in an issue-tracking system and the corresponding fixing changes in a version repository are not often recorded by developers. Such linking information is crucial for research in mining software repositories in measuring software defects and maintenance efforts. However, the state-of-the-art bug-to-fix link recovery approaches (e.g. ReLink) still much rely on textual matching between bug reports and commit/change logs and cannot handle well the cases where their contents are not textually similar.

We developed MLink, a multi-layered approach that takes into account not only textual features but also source code features of the changed code corresponding to the commit logs. It is also capable of learning the association relations between the terms in bug reports and the names of entities/components in the changed source code of the commits from the established bug-to-fix links, and uses them for link recovery between the reports and commits that do not share much similar texts.

MLink takes into account following features in link recovery process:

  • Traditional features, i.e. developers' notes in commit logs. Additionally, MLink also analyzes developers' notes in bug reports' comments
  • Patches, i.e. fragments of code embedded in bug reports,
  • Entities' names, i.e. names of code entities appeared in bug reports,
  • Text features,
  • Term-entity association values.