A Model of the Commit Size Distribution of Open Source

Abstract: A fundamental unit of work in programming is the code contribution (“commit”) that a developer makes to the code base of the project in work. We use statistical methods to derive a model of the probabilistic distribution of commit sizes in open source projects and we show that the model is applicable to different project sizes. We use both graphical as well as statistical methods to validate the goodness of fit of our model. By measuring and modeling a fundamental dimension of programming we help improve software development tools and our understanding of software development.

Keywords: Open source; commit sizes; commit size distribution; configuration management; code contributions.

Reference: Carsten Kolassa, Dirk Riehle, Michel A. Salim. “A Model of the Commit Size Distribution of Open Source.” In Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Current Trends in Theory and Practice of Computer Science (SOFSEM 2013), LNCS 7741. Springer Verlag, 2013. Page 52-66.

The paper is available as a PDF file.

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