On the sustainability of deep learning projects: Maintainers' perspective

JOURNAL OF SOFTWARE-EVOLUTION AND PROCESS(2023)

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摘要
Deep learning (DL) techniques have grown in leaps and bounds in both academia and industry over the past few years. Despite the growth of DL projects, there has been little study on how DL projects evolve, whether maintainers in this domain encounter a dramatic increase in workload and whether or not existing maintainers can guarantee the sustained development of projects. To address this gap, we perform an empirical study to investigate the sustainability of DL projects, understand maintainers' workloads and workloads growth in DL projects, and compare them with traditional open-source software (OSS) projects. In this regard, we first investigate how DL projects grow, then, understand maintainers' workload in DL projects, and explore the workload growth of maintainers as DL projects evolve. After that, we mine the relationships between maintainers' activities and the sustainability of DL projects. Eventually, we compare it with traditional OSS projects. Our study unveils that although DL projects show increasing trends in most activities, maintainers' workloads present a decreasing trend. Meanwhile, the proportion of workload maintainers conducted in DL projects is significantly lower than in traditional OSS projects. Moreover, there are positive and moderate correlations between the sustainability of DL projects and the number of maintainers' releases, pushes, and merged pull requests. Our findings shed lights that help understand maintainers' workload and growth trends in DL and traditional OSS projects and also highlight actionable directions for organizations, maintainers, and researchers. There is a significant difference in the growth trend of most activities between deep learning (DL) and traditional open-source software (OSS) projects, and there is also a significant difference in the proportion of workload for maintainers in DL and traditional OSS projects. However, there are almost no significant differences in the growth rates of average workload on various activities per maintainer between sampled DL and traditional OSS projects. image
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关键词
deep learning,maintainers,sustainability,workload
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