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Bad smells are signs of potential problems in code. Detecting and resolving bad smells, however, remain time-consuming for software engineers despite proposals on bad smell detection and refactoring tools. Numerous bad smells have been recognized, yet the sequences in which the detection and resolution of different kinds of bad smells are performed are rarely discussed because software engineers do not know how to optimize sequences or determine the benefits of an optimal sequence. To this end, we propose a detection and resolution sequence for different kinds of bad smells to simplify their detection and resolution. We highlight the necessity of managing bad smell resolution sequences with a motivating example, and recommend a suitable sequence for commonly occurring bad smells. We evaluate this recommendation on two nontrivial open source applications, and the evaluation results suggest that a significant reduction in effort ranging from 17.64 to 20 percent can be achieved when bad smells are detected and resolved using the proposed sequence.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2012