A study of how method roles evolve during the lifetime of a software system is presented. Evolution is examined by analyzing when the stereotype of a method changes. Stereotypes provide a high-level categorization of a method's behavior and role, and also provide insight into how a method interacts with its environment and carries out tasks. The study covers 50 open-source systems and 6 closed-source systems. Results show that method behavior with respect to stereotype is highly stable and constant over time. Overall, out of all the history examined, only about 10% of changes to methods result in a change in their stereotype. Examples of methods that change stereotype are further examined. A select number of these types of changes are indicators of code smells.
Date of creation, presentation, or exhibit
Department, Program, or Center
Software Engineering (GCCIS)
M. J. Decker, C. D. Newman, N. Dragan, M. L. Collard, J. I. Maletic and N. A. Kraft, "[Research Paper] Which Method-Stereotype Changes are Indicators of Code Smells?," 2018 IEEE 18th International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM), Madrid, 2018, pp. 82-91, doi: 10.1109/SCAM.2018.00017
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