Investigating Variability-aware Smells in SPLs: An Exploratory Study

  • Iuri Santos Souza UFRB
  • Ivan Machado UFBA
  • Carolyn Seaman UMBC
  • Gecynalda Gomes UFBA
  • Christina Chavez UFBA
  • Eduardo Santana de Almeida UFBA
  • Paulo Masiero UFBA


Variability-aware smell is a concept referring to artifact shortcomings in the context of highly-configurable systems that can degrade aspects such as program comprehension, maintainability, and evolvability. To the best of our knowledge, there is very little evidence that variability-aware smells exist in Software Product Lines (SPLs). This work presents an exploratory study that investigated (I) evidence that variability-aware smells exist in SPLs and (II) new types of variability-aware smell not yet documented in the literature based on a quantitative study with open source SPL projects. We collected quantitative data to generate reliable research evidence, by performing feature model and source code inspections on eleven open-source SPL projects. Our findings revealed that (1) instances of variability-aware smells exist in open-source SPL projects and (2) feature information presented significant associations with variability-aware smells. Furthermore, (3) the study presented six new types of variability-aware smells.

Palavras-chave: Variability-Aware Smells, Software Product Lines, Empirical Study, Exploratory Study


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SOUZA, Iuri Santos; MACHADO, Ivan; SEAMAN, Carolyn; GOMES, Gecynalda; CHAVEZ, Christina; DE ALMEIDA, Eduardo Santana; MASIERO, Paulo. Investigating Variability-aware Smells in SPLs: An Exploratory Study. In: SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE ENGENHARIA DE SOFTWARE (SBES), 33. , 2019, Salvador. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2019 .