Experimental evaluation of code smell detection tools

Thanis PaivaAmanda DamascenoJuliana PadilhaEduardo FigueiredoClaudio Sant`Anna

Code smells are code fragments that can hinder the evolution and maintenance of software systems. Their detection is a challenge for developers and their informal definition leads to the implementation of multiple detection techniques by tools. This paper aims to evaluate and compare three code smell detection tools, namely inFusion, JDeodorant and PMD. These tools were applied to different versions of a same system. The results were analyzed to answer four research questions related to the evolution of the smells, the relevance of the smells detected, and the agreement among tools. This study allowed us to understand the evolution of code smells in the target system and to evaluate the accuracy of each tool in the detection of three code smells: God Class, God Method, and Feature Envy.

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