Survey of Research on Software Clones

Author Rainer Koschke

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Rainer Koschke

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Rainer Koschke. Survey of Research on Software Clones. In Duplication, Redundancy, and Similarity in Software. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 6301, pp. 1-24, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2007)


This report summarizes my overview talk on software clone detection research. It first discusses the notion of software redundancy, cloning, duplication, and similarity. Then, it describes various categorizations of clone types, empirical studies on the root causes for cloning, current opinions and wisdom of consequences of cloning, empirical studies on the evolution of clones, ways to remove, to avoid, and to detect them, empirical evaluations of existing automatic clone detector performance (such as recall, precision, time and space consumption) and their fitness for a particular purpose, benchmarks for clone detector evaluations, presentation issues, and last but not least application of clone detection in other related fields. After each summary of a subarea, I am listing open research questions.
  • Software redundancy
  • code clone
  • software evolution
  • clone detector
  • empirical evaluation


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