Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Understanding mobile-specific code smells

With respect to self-healing, we obtained new results in the domain of code smells for mobile software systems. Code smells are well-known concepts in software engineering. They refer to bad design and development practices commonly observed in software systems.

We obtained three new results that contribute to a better understanding of mobile code smells. First, we studied the expansion of code smells in different mobile platforms. Then, we conducted a large-scale study to analyze the change history of mobile apps and discern the factors that favor the introduction and survival of code smells. To consolidate these studies, we also performed a user study to investigate developers’ perception of code smells and the adequacy of static analyzers as a solution for coping with them. Finally, we performed a qualitative study to question the established foundation about the definition and detection of mobile code smells. The results of these studies revealed important research findings. Notably, we showed that pragmatism, prioritization, and individual attitudes are not relevant factors for the accrual of mobile code smells. The problem is rather caused by ignorance and oversight, which are prevalent among mobile developers. Furthermore, we highlighted several flaws in the code smell definitions that are currently adopted by the research community. These results allowed us to elaborate some recommendations for researchers and tool makers willing to design detection and refactoring tools for mobile code smells [33], [34]. On top of that, our results opened perspectives for research works about the identification of mobile code smells and development practices in general.

These results have been obtained in the context of the PhD thesis of Sarra Habchi [12] defended in December 2019.