Walid Maalej's research while affiliated with University of Hamburg and other places

Publications (129)

Preprint
[Background] In large open-source software projects, development knowledge is often fragmented across multiple artefacts and contributors such that individual stakeholders are generally unaware of the full breadth of the product features. However, users want to know what the software is capable of, while contributors need to know where to fix, upda...
Preprint
Stakeholders in software projects use issue trackers like JIRA to capture and manage issues, including requirements and bugs. To ease issue navigation and structure project knowledge, stakeholders manually connect issues via links of certain types that reflect different dependencies, such as Epic-, Block-, Duplicate-, or Relate- links. Based on a l...
Article
Full-text available
Research has repeatedly shown that high-quality requirements are essential for the success of development projects. While the term “quality” is pervasive in the field of requirements engineering and while the body of research on requirements quality is large, there is no meta-study of the field that overviews and compares the concrete quality attri...
Preprint
Software projects use Issue Tracking Systems (ITS) like JIRA to track issues and organize the workflows around them. Issues are often inter-connected via different links such as the default JIRA link types Duplicate, Relate, Block, or Subtask. While previous research has mostly focused on analyzing and predicting duplication links, this work aims a...
Preprint
Full-text available
To maximize the accuracy and increase the overall acceptance of text classifiers, we propose a framework for the efficient, in-operation moderation of classifiers' output. Our framework focuses on use cases in which F1-scores of modern Neural Networks classifiers (ca.~90%) are still inapplicable in practice. We suggest a semi-automated approach tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organisations use issue tracking systems (ITSs) to store their project documentation in unit-like pieces called "issues". This style of documentation encourages evolutionary refinement, as each issue can be independently: improved, commented on, linked to other issues, and progressed through the organisational workflow. Common ITSs studied include...
Preprint
On social media platforms like Twitter, users regularly share their opinions and comments with software vendors and service providers. Popular software products might get thousands of user comments per day. Research has shown that such comments contain valuable information for stakeholders, such as feature ideas, problem reports, or support inquiri...
Preprint
Preclinical patient care is both mentally and physically challenging and exhausting for emergency teams. The teams intensively use medical technology to help the patient on site. However, they must carry and handle multiple heavy medical devices such as a monitor for the patient's vital signs, a ventilator to support an unconscious patient, and a r...
Article
Full-text available
Different disciplines have studied the content of online user comments in various contexts, using manual qualitative/quantitative or (semi-)automated approaches. The broad spectrum and disciplinary divides make it difficult to grasp an overview of those aspects which have already been examined, e.g. to identify findings related to one’s own researc...
Preprint
App stores allow users to give valuable feedback on apps, and developers to find this feedback and use it for the software evolution. However, finding user feedback that matches existing bug reports in issue trackers is challenging as users and developers often use a different language. In this work, we introduce DeepMatcher, an automatic approach...
Article
With the vast number of apps and the complexity of their features, it is becoming challenging for teachers to select a suitable learning app for their courses. Several evaluation frameworks have been proposed in the literature to assist teachers with this selection. The iPAC framework is a well-established mobile learning framework highlighting the...
Preprint
Legacy software systems typically include vital data for organizations that use them and should thus to be regularly maintained. Ideally, organizations should rely on Requirements Engineers to understand and manage changes of stakeholder needs and system constraints. However, due to time and cost pressure, and with a heavy focus on implementation,...
Article
Full-text available
App stores include an increasing amount of user feedback in form of app ratings and reviews. Research and recently also tool vendors have proposed analytics and data mining solutions to leverage this feedback to developers and analysts, e.g., for supporting release decisions. Research also showed that positive feedback improves apps' downloads and...
Preprint
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Managing software projects gets more and more complicated with an increasing project and product size. To cope with this complexity, many organizations use issue tracking systems, where tasks, bugs, and requirements are stored as issues. Unfortunately, managing software projects might remain chaotic even when using issue trackers. Particularly for...
Preprint
With the rise of social media like Twitter and distribution platforms like app stores, users have various ways to express their opinions about software products. Popular software vendors get user feedback thousandfold per day. Research has shown that such feedback contains valuable information for software development teams. However, a manual analy...
Preprint
With the rise of social media like Twitter and of software distribution platforms like app stores, users got various ways to express their opinion about software products. Popular software vendors get user feedback thousandfold per day. Research has shown that such feedback contains valuable information for software development teams such as proble...
Conference Paper
Using API reference documentation like JavaDoc is an integral part of software development. Previous research introduced a grounded taxonomy that organizes API documentation knowledge in 12 types, including knowledge about the Functionality, Structure, and Quality of an API. We study how well modern text classification approaches can automatically...
Preprint
While many apps include built-in options to report bugs or request features, users still provide an increasing amount of feedback via social media, like Twitter. Compared to traditional issue trackers, the reporting process in social media is unstructured and the feedback often lacks basic context information, such as the app version or the device...
Preprint
Using API reference documentation like JavaDoc is an integral part of software development. Previous research introduced a grounded taxonomy that organizes API documentation knowledge in 12 types, including knowledge about the Functionality, Structure, and Quality of an API. We study how well modern text classification approaches can automatically...
Article
App stores are highly competitive markets, sometimes offering dozens of apps for a single use case. Unexpected app changes such as a feature removal might incite even loyal users to explore alternative apps. Sentiment analysis tools can help monitor users’ emotions expressed, e.g., in app reviews or tweets. We found that these emotions include four...
Preprint
App stores are highly competitive markets, sometimes offering dozens of apps for a single use case. Unexpected app changes such as a feature removal might incite even loyal users to explore alternative apps. Sentiment analysis tools can help monitor users' emotions expressed, e.g., in app reviews or tweets. We found that these emotions include four...
Presentation
Full-text available
Different disciplines have studied online user comments in various contexts, using either qualitative, quantitative, or (semi-)automated content analysis. The broad spectrum and disciplinary divides make it difficult to grasp an overview of the aspects which have already been examined, e.g. to identify findings related to one’s own research, recomm...
Article
As researchers and teachers and practitioners, we “software types” excel at multitasking. This, in part, led us to ask the question: Can one attend a software engineering conference and do something good for society? We found the answer to be a resounding yes. In this article, we present our first experience of running RE Cares, a conference colloc...
Conference Paper
Background: Requirement engineering is often considered a critical activity in system development projects. The increasing complexity of software as well as number and heterogeneity of stakeholders motivate the development of methods and tools for improving large-scale requirement engineering. Aims: The empirical study presented in this paper aim t...
Preprint
User comments have become an essential part of online journalism. However, newsrooms are often overwhelmed by the vast number of diverse comments, for which a manual analysis is barely feasible. Identifying meta-comments that address or mention newsrooms, individual journalists, or moderators and that may call for reactions is particularly critical...
Conference Paper
Ontology integration addresses the problem of reconciling into one single semantic framework different knowledge chunks defined according to its own ontology. This field has been subject of analysis and many consolidated theoretical results are available. Still, in practice, ontology integration is difficult in heterogeneous information systems (HI...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale refers to the reasoning and justification behind human decisions, opinions, and beliefs. In software engineering, rationale management focuses on capturing design and requirements decisions and on organizing and reusing project knowledge. This paper takes a different view on rationale written by users in online reviews. We studied 32,414...
Preprint
Background: Requirement engineering is often considered a critical activity in system development projects. The increasing complexity of software, as well as number and heterogeneity of stakeholders, motivate the development of methods and tools for improving large-scale requirement engineering. Aims: The empirical study presented in this paper aim...
Preprint
Successful open source communities are constantly looking for members and helping them to become active developers. One common approach for developer onboarding in open source projects is to let newcomers focus on relevant but easy-to-solve issues, which enables them to familiarize themselves with the code and the community. The first goal of this...
Conference Paper
Millennials prefer learning-by-doing and social learning, and project-based learning. At the same time, software engineering educators should take into account that software development projects require not only technical skills but also creativity---Design Thinking can help in achieving the latter. We conducted a workshop, following the Design Thi...
Conference Paper
Online portals include an increasing amount of user feedback in form of ratings and reviews. Recent research highlighted the importance of this feedback and confirmed that positive feedback improves product sales figures and thus its success. Online portals' operators act as central authorities throughout the overall review process. In the worst ca...
Article
Full-text available
Due to their characteristics, millennials prefer learning-by-doing and social learning, such as project-based learning. However, software development projects require not only technical skills but also creativity; Design Thinking can serve such purpose. We conducted a workshop following the Design Thinking approach of the d.school, to help students...
Article
Online portals include an increasing amount of user feedback in form of ratings and reviews. Recent research highlighted the importance of this feedback and confirmed that positive feedback improves product sales figures and thus its success. However, online portals' operators act as central authorities throughout the overall review process. In the...
Article
A software development screencast is a video that captures the screen of a developer working on a particular task while explaining its implementation details. Due to the increased popularity of software development screencasts (e.g., available on YouTube), we study how and to what extent they can be used as additional source of knowledge to answer...
Article
Full-text available
Newsrooms are still searching for ways to manage user comments because of both a desire for professional distance from their audiences and a lack of analytical tools. This paper presents findings from our exploratory, interdisciplinary study in journalism research and computer science that focuses on the algorithmic classification and clustering of...
Article
Full-text available
Surveys are nowadays used for a variety of physical and digital services to collect feedback from users. They are often difficult to fill in and might have only a limited value since users’ context is often either missing or tedious to be entered manually. Research has shown that simplifying the forms and enriching them with contextual information...
Article
Developers’ tasks are often interrelated. A task might succeed, precede, block, or depend on another task. Or, two tasks might simply have a similar aim or require similar expertise. When working on tasks, developers interact with artifacts and tools, which constitute the contexts of the tasks. This work investigates the extent to which the similar...
Article
Full-text available
App stores like Google Play and Apple AppStore have over 3 million apps covering nearly every kind of software and service. Billions of users regularly download, use, and review these apps. Recent studies have shown that reviews written by the users represent a rich source of information for the app vendors and the developers, as they include infor...
Conference Paper
Nowadays, mobile apps are used for nearly every situation: for planning the day, communicating with colleagues, ordering goods, or entertaining and socializing. To understand users expectations in each situation and to provide context-aware services, researchers and app vendors started to capture users' interaction with the smartphone and to model...
Conference Paper
Communication barriers in Requirements Engineering (RE) are various, including different levels of experience, different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities of stakeholders. Such barriers can lead to communication gaps and project failures. This paper introduces the Smart RE framework, an approach to reduce communication gaps in RE by using th...
Conference Paper
The increasing number of smartphone users stresses the need for an improved protection of users' personal data, such as health information, personal identifiers and financial data. One trend to address this need is the adoption of biometric authentication techniques such as fingerprint and iris recognition. We report on a study that examines user r...
Conference Paper
A large part of Requirements Engineering is concerned with involving system users, capturing their needs, and getting their feedback. As users are becoming more and more demanding, markets and technologies are evolving fast, and systems are getting more and more individual, a broad and systematic user involvement in Requirements Engineering is beco...
Conference Paper
Developers work on parallel tasks and switch between them due to interruptions and dependencies. For each task, developers interact with artifacts that constitute the task context. The more dissimilar tasks are, the more time is needed for switches to restore the contexts and adjust the mindset. Organizing tasks by their similarity can increase the...
Research
Full-text available
Nowadays mobile phones and smartphones are common not only in mega cities in developed countries but also in rural areas in emerging and developing countries. Technological progress will enable more and more people from different socio-cultural backgrounds and with different needs to use software services with up-to-date technical devices. End user...
Article
Nowadays, users can easily submit feedback about software products in app stores, social media, or user groups. Moreover, software vendors are collecting massive amounts of implicit feedback in the form of usage data, error logs, and sensor data. These trends suggest a shift toward data-driven user-centered identification, prioritization, and manag...
Article
Full-text available
App stores allow users to submit feedback for downloaded apps in form of star ratings and text reviews. Recent studies analyzed this feedback and found that it includes information useful for app developers, such as user requirements, ideas for improvements, user sentiments about specific features, and descriptions of experiences with these feature...
Article
Research in program comprehension has evolved considerably over the past decades. However, only little is known about how developers practice program comprehension in their daily work. This article reports on qualitative and quantitative research to comprehend the strategies, tools, and knowledge used for program comprehension. We observed 28 profe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Working with requirements is a knowledge-intensive task. Stakeholders need various information, e.g., for understanding or negotiating the requirements. To understand the information needs of stakeholders we conducted two case studies and interviewed 6 stakeholders. We identified 26 unique information needs, which we represented as questions asked...
Conference Paper
The proliferation of mobile devices and apps together with the increasing public interest in privacy and data protection matters necessitate a more careful precaution for legal compliance. As apps are becoming more popular, app developers can expect an increased scrutiny of privacy practices in the future. In this paper, we focus on the problem of...
Article
We report on an exploratory study, which aims at understanding how development tutorials are structured, what types of tutorials exist, and how official tutorials differ from tutorials written by development communities. We analyzed over 1.200 tutorials for mobile application development provided by six different sources for the three major platfor...
Article
Data privacy when using online systems like Facebook and Amazon has become an increasingly popular topic in the last few years. However, only a little is known about how users and developers perceive privacy and which concrete measures would mitigate their privacy concerns. To investigate privacy requirements, we conducted an online survey with clo...
Chapter
Traditional recommendation systems in software engineering (RSSE) analyze artifacts stored in large repositories to create relevant recommendations. More recently, researchers have started exploring interaction data as a new source of information—moving closer to the creation and usage of the artifacts rather than just looking at the outcome. In so...
Article
The last decade was characterized by a boom in the quantity and quality of the web sites - something that has been summarized with the buzzword "Web 2.0". This immense growth was possible through the massive participation of users, who were able to easily create, share, and interact with content of any kind. But when looking at software, there are...
Book
With the growth of public and private data stores and the emergence of off-the-shelf data-mining technology, recommendation systems have emerged that specifically address the unique challenges of navigating and interpreting software engineering data. This book collects, structures, and formalizes knowledge on recommendation systems in software engi...
Article
Reading reference documentation is an important part of programming with application programming interfaces (APIs). Reference documentation complements the API by providing information not obvious from the API syntax. To improve the quality of reference documentation and the efficiency with which the relevant information it contains can be accessed...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Application distribution platforms - or app stores - such as Google Play or Apple AppStore allow users to submit feedback in form of ratings and reviews to downloaded applications. In the last few years, these platforms have become very popular to both application developers and users. However, their real potential for and impact on requirements en...
Conference Paper
The first step to comprehend and fix a software bug is usually to reproduce the corresponding failure. Reproducing a failure requires information about steps to reproduce, i.e. the steps necessary to make a failure occur in the development environment. In case of an application with a user interface, steps to reproduce consist of the interactions b...
Chapter
This chapter summarises the Managing Requirements Knowledge book and concludes with the future work. For this purpose, we performed a case-by-case review of the book chapters as well as other relevant publications and extracted the research issues, main contributions, benefits or lessons learned, and future research directions.