Duplicate Bug Reports Considered Harmful…Really?

Introduction

In a survey we found that most developers have experienced duplicated bug reports, however, only few considered them as a serious problem. This contradicts popular wisdom that considers bug duplicates as a serious problem for open source projects. In the survey, developers also pointed out that the additional information provided by duplicates helps to resolve bugs quicker. In this paper, we therefore propose to merge bug duplicates, rather than treating them separately. We quantify the amount of information that is added for developers and show that automatic triaging can be improved as well. In addition, we discuss the different reasons why users submit duplicate bug reports in the first place.

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The full paper is available for download, if you want to learn more about bug duplicates.

Citation

If you would like to cite the research in your own work, please use the following citation:

@inproceedings{bettenburg:icsm2008,
  title = "Duplicate Bug Reports Considered Harmful... Really?",
  author = "Nicolas Bettenburg and Rahul Premraj and Thomas Zimmermann and Sunghun Kim",
  year = "2008",
  pages = "337--345",
  booktitle = "ICSM '08: Proceedings of the 24th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance",
  location = "Beijing, China"
}

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