Integrated Traceability Approach for an Effective Impact Analysis
Change is inevitable, software undergoes continuous change during its life cycle. A small change can trigger high evolution because of the ripple effect identified during the activity of impact analysis. However, it depends on the traceability information, which is the connection between software development artifacts. The current traceability techniques lack the breadth and depth to carryout informative impact analysis. We have performed a detailed literature survey of traceability techniques from the year 2008-2018. These techniques are evaluated on the criteria for effective impact analysis present in the literature. The results highlight that no single technique fulfills the criteria for effective impact analysis alone, they can be combined together to achieve promising results. We have presented a hybrid approach that combines four traceability techniques to achieve the entire criteria for an effective impact analysis after careful evaluation. The techniques combined are: Information Retrieval, Pre-Requirement Specification Traceability, Value based Requirements Traceability Technique and Goal Centric Traceability Technique. Our proposed hybrid approach is empirically validated via a field experiment. Results are analyzed for time and effort utilized in maintaining and retrieving the traceability information. The results are promising as the hybrid approach achieves effective impact analysis within minimal time and effort. We plan to extend the validation to real world impact analysis situation via case study.