The impact of code smells on software bugs: a systematic literature review

Aloisio S. Cairo, Glauco de F. Carneiro, Miguel P. Monteiro

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Context: Code smells are associated to poor design and programming style, which often degrades code quality and hampers code comprehensibility and maintainability. Goal: identify published studies that provide evidence of the influence of code smells on the occurrence of software bugs. Method: We conducted a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) to reach the stated goal. Results: The SLR selected studies from July 2007 to September 2017, which analyzed the source code of open source software projects and several code smells. Based on evidence of 16 studies covered in this SLR, we conclude that 24 code smells are more influential in the occurrence of bugs relative to the remaining smells analyzed. In contrast, three studies reported that at least 6 code smells are less influential in such occurrences. Evidence from the selected studies also point out tools, techniques, and procedures that should be applied to analyze the influence of the smells. Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first SLR to target this goal. This study provides an up-to-date and structured understanding of the influence of code smells on the occurrence of software bugs based on findings systematically collected from a list of relevant references in the latest decade.

Original languageEnglish
Article number273
JournalInformation (Switzerland)
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2018

Keywords

  • Bugs
  • Code fault-proneness
  • Code smells
  • Software evolution

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