The Impact of a Low Level of Agreement among Reviewers in a Code Review Process

Authors: Toshiki Hirao, Akinori Ihara, Kenichi Matasumoto

Abstract: Software code review systems are commonly used in software development. In these systems, many patches are submitted to improve the quality. To verify the quality, voting is commonly used by contributors; however, there still exists a major problem, namely, that reviewers do not always simply reach a broad agreement. In our previous study, we found that consensus is not usually reached, implying that an individual reviewer’s final decision usually differs from that of the majority of the other reviewers. In this study, we further investigate the reasons why such situations often occur, and provide suggestions for better handling of these problems. Our analysis of the Qt and OpenStack project datasets allow us to suggest that a patch owner should select more appropriate reviewers who often agree with others’ decisions.

[preprint]

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