Heuristics and Metrics for OO Refactoring: A Consolidation and Appraisal of Current Issues

Heuristics and Metrics for OO Refactoring: A Consolidation and Appraisal of Current Issues

Steve Counsell (Brunel University, UK), Youssef Hassoun (University of London, UK) and Deepak Advani (University of London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-896-3.ch008
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Abstract

Refactoring, as a software engineering discipline, has emerged over recent years to become an important aspect of maintaining software. Refactoring refers to the restructuring of software according to specific mechanics and principles. While in theory there is no doubt of the benefits of refactoring in terms of reduced complexity and increased comprehensibility of software, there are numerous empirical aspects of refactoring which have yet to be addressed and many research questions which remain unanswered. In this chapter, we look at some of the issues which determine when to refactor (i.e., the heuristics of refactoring) and, from a metrics perspective, open issues with measuring the refactoring process. We thus point to emerging trends in the refactoring arena, some of the problems, controversies, and future challenges the refactoring community faces. We hence investigate future ideas and research potential in this area.

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