Scalable software merging studies with MERGANSER

Moein Owhadi-Kareshk, Sarah Nadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Software merging researchers constantly need empirical data of real-world merge scenarios to analyze. Such data is currently extracted through individual and isolated efforts, often with non-systematically designed scripts that may not easily scale to large studies. This hinders replication and proper comparison of results. In this paper, we introduce MERGANSER, a scalable and easy-to-use tool for extracting and analyzing merge scenarios in Git repositories. In addition to extracting basic information about merge scenarios from Git history, our tool also replays each merge to detect conflicts and stores the corresponding information of conflicting files and regions. We design a normalized and extensible SQL data schema to store the information of the analyzed repositories, merge scenarios and involved commits, and merge replays and conflicts. By running only one command, our proposed tool clones the target repositories, detects their merge scenarios, and stores their information in a SQL database. MERGANSER is written in Python and released under the MIT license. In this tool paper, we describe MERGANSER's architecture and provide guidance for its usage in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 16th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781728134123
StatePublished - May 2019
Event16th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: May 26 2019May 27 2019

Publication series

NameIEEE International Working Conference on Mining Software Repositories
ISSN (Print)2160-1852
ISSN (Electronic)2160-1860


Conference16th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mining Software Repositories, MSR 2019


  • Collaborative Software Development
  • Scalable Tool
  • Software Merging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software


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