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Automatic bad-smell detection in Java programs

Błażej Pietrzak, Bartosz Walter, and Jerzy Nawrocki (2004)

Foundations of Computing and Decision Sciences, 29(1-2):149-165.

Nearly 70% of the overall effort of producing a software system is spent on software maintenance. The software maintenance is based on code modification. The code is modified so as to eliminate defects or to adapt it to the changing requirements. Such modifications are very dangerous because new bugs may be introduced in this way. Refactoring is a secure code modification technique. It is based on programs transformations. Some of the transformations aim at improving the program structure. Characteristics of ill-structured programs are called bad smells. They include too long methods, message chains etc. Manual detection of a badly smelling code is a tedious task. Thus, there is a need for automatic bad smell detection. In the paper the problem of the automatic bad smell detection in the Java programmes is discussed. The focus is on two types of bad smell: duplicated code and message chains.

This research has been financially supported by the State Committee for Scientific Research as a research grant 4 T11F 001 23 (years 2002-2005)

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