Are there functionally similar code clones in practice?

Verena Käfer, Stefan Wagner, Rainer Koschke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Having similar code fragments, also called clones, in software systems can lead to unnecessary comprehension, review and change efforts. Syntactically similar clones can often be encountered in practice. The same is not clear for only functionally similar clones (FSC). We conducted an exploratory survey among developers to investigate whether they encounter functionally similar clones in practice and whether there is a difference in their inclination to remove them to syntactically similar clones. Of the 34 developers answering the survey, 31 have experienced FSC in their professional work, and 24 have experienced problems caused by FSCs. We found no difference in the inclination and reasoning for removing FSCs and syntactically similar clones. FSCs exist in practice and should be investigated to bring clone detectors to the same quality as for syntactically similar clones, because being able to detect them allows developers to manage and potentially remove them.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 IEEE 12th International Workshop on Software Clones, IWSC 2018 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages2-8
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538664308
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event12th IEEE International Workshop on Software Clones, IWSC 2018 - Campobasso, Italy
Duration: 20 Mar 2018 → …

Publication series

Name2018 IEEE 12th International Workshop on Software Clones, IWSC 2018 - Proceedings
Volume2018-January

Conference

Conference12th IEEE International Workshop on Software Clones, IWSC 2018
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityCampobasso
Period20/03/18 → …

Keywords

  • code clones
  • survey

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