Mining the Usage Patterns of ROS Primitives

Published in 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS), 2017

Recommended citation: A. Santos, A. Cunha, N. Macedo, R. Arrais, F. N. dos Santos. (2017). "Mining the Usage Patterns of ROS Primitives." IROS 2017. 3855-3860.

Abstract: The Robot Operating System (ROS) is nowadays one of the most popular frameworks for developing robotic applications. To ensure the (much needed) dependability and safety of such applications we forecast an increasing demand for ROS-specific coding standards, static analyzers, and tools alike. Unfortunately, the development of such standards and tools can be hampered by ROS modularity and configurability, namely the substantial number of primitives (and respective variants) that must, in principle, be considered. To quantify the severity of this problem, we have mined a large number of existing ROS packages to understand how its primitives are used in practice, and to determine which combinations of primitives are most popular. This paper presents and discusses the results of this study, and hopefully provides some guidance for future standardization efforts and tool developers.

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