The quest for open source projects that use UML: mining GitHub.
Paper in proceedings, 2016

Context: While industrial use of UML was studied intensely, little is known about UML use in Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) projects. Goal: We aim at systematically mining GitHub projects to answer the question when models, if used, are created and updated throughout the whole project's life-span. Method: We present a semi-automated approach to collect UML stored in images, .xmi, and .uml files and scanned ten percent of all GitHub projects (1.24 million). Our focus was on number and role of contributors that created/updated models and the time span during which this happened. Results: We identified and studied 21 316 UML diagrams within 3 295 projects. Conclusion: Creating/updating of UML happens most often during a very short phase at the project start. For 12% of the models duplicates were found, which are in average spread across 1.88 projects. Finally, we contribute a list of GitHub projects that include UML files.


Free software

Mining software repositories

Open source



Regina Hebig

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers)

Truong Ho Quang

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

University of Gothenburg

Gregorio Robles

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Miguel Angel Fernandez

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Michel Chaudron

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers)

Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE 19th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS '16)


Subject Categories

Software Engineering



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