Establishing the Source Code Disruption Caused by Automated Remodularisation Tools

Current software remodularisation tools only operate on abstractions of a software system. In this paper, we investigate the actual impact of automated remodularisation on source code using a tool that automatically applies remodularisations as refactorings. This shows us that a typical remodularisation (as computed by the Bunch tool) will require changes to thousands of lines of code, spread throughout the system (typically no code files remain untouched). In a typical multi-developer project this presents a serious integration challenge, and could contribute to the low uptake of such tools in an industrial context. We relate these findings with our ongoing research into techniques that produce iterative commit friendly code changes to address this problem.

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