Bots Don’t Mind Waiting, Do They? Comparing the Interaction With Automatically and Manually Created Pull Requests
As a maintainer of an open source software project, you are usually happy about contributions in the form of pull requests that bring the project a step forward. Past studies have shown that when reviewing a pull request, not only its content is taken into account, but also, for example, the social characteristics of the contributor. Whether a contribution is accepted and how long this takes therefore depends not only on the content of the contribution. What we only have indications for so far, however, is that pull requests from bots may be prioritized lower, even if the bots are explicitly deployed by the development team and are considered useful.
One goal of the bot research and development community is to design helpful bots to effectively support software development in a variety of ways. To get closer to this goal, in this GitHub mining study, we examine the measurable differences in how maintainers interact with manually created pull requests from humans compared to those created automatically by bots.
About one third of all pull requests on GitHub currently come from bots. While pull requests from humans are accepted and merged in 72.53% of all cases, this applies to only 37.38% of bot pull requests. Furthermore, it takes significantly longer for a bot pull request to be interacted with and for it to be merged, even though they contain fewer changes on average than human pull requests. These results suggest that bots have yet to realize their full potential.
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|Do Bots Modify the Workflow of GitHub Teams?
|Bots Don’t Mind Waiting, Do They? Comparing the Interaction With Automatically and Manually Created Pull Requests
Marvin Wyrich University of Stuttgart, Raoul Ghit University of Stuttgart, Tobias Haller University of Stuttgart, Christian Müller University of StuttgartMedia Attached
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