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Assessing software libraries by browsing similar classes, functions and relationships

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2 Author(s)
Michail, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Eng., Washington Univ., Seattle, WA, USA ; Notkin, D.

Comparing and contrasting a set of software libraries is useful for reuse related activities such as selecting a library from among several candidates or porting an application from one library to another. The current state of the art in assessing libraries relies on qualitative methods. To reduce costs and/or assess a large collection of libraries, automation is necessary. Although there are tools that help a developer examine an individual library in terms of architecture, style, etc., we know of no tools that help the developer directly compare several libraries. With existing tools, the user must manually integrate the knowledge learned about each library. Automation to help developers directly compare and contrast libraries requires matching of similar components (such as classes and functions) across libraries. This is different than the traditional component retrieval problem in which components are returned that best match a user's query. Rather, we need to find those components that are similar across the libraries under consideration. In this paper, we show how this kind of matching can be done.

Published in:

Software Engineering, 1999. Proceedings of the 1999 International Conference on

Date of Conference:

22-22 May 1999