Mohsen Vakilian's Blog

May 8, 2008

Tracking Code Clones

Filed under: evolution — mohsenvakilian @ 11:37 pm

In a paper presented at ICSE’07, Duala-Ekoko and Robillard introduced their Eclipse plugin for clone tracking.

Their plugin offers two main features:

  1. The ability to identify code clone groups and track them as software evolves.
  2. Enabling the developer to make his/her edits on several copies of code clones simultaneously.

To track the code clones as software evolves, they propose the idea of CRD which is an approximate identifier for a block of code. To be able to locate a CRD in a future version of code, it has to be independent of line numbers. In fact, CRD is an address for a block based on the enclosing constructs of the block.

For the simultaneous editing feature, they use Levenshtein distance to match lines.

The algorithms used seem pretty straight forward and the reason for choosing them seems to be the goal to build a lightweight interactive system for tracking and editing code clones.

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