Empirical Evidence of Large-Scale Diversity in API Usage of Object-Oriented Software

Diego Mendez 1 Benoit Baudry 2 Martin Monperrus 1
1 ADAM - Adaptive Distributed Applications and Middleware
LIFL - Laboratoire d'Informatique Fondamentale de Lille, Inria Lille - Nord Europe
2 TRISKELL - Reliable and efficient component based software engineering
IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : In this paper, we study how object-oriented classes are used across thousands of software packages. We concentrate on "usage diversity'", defined as the different statically observable combinations of methods called on the same object. We present empirical evidence that there is a significant usage diversity for many classes. For instance, we observe in our dataset that Java's String is used in 2460 manners. We discuss the reasons of this observed diversity and the consequences on software engineering knowledge and research.
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Diego Mendez, Benoit Baudry, Martin Monperrus. Empirical Evidence of Large-Scale Diversity in API Usage of Object-Oriented Software. International Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM'2013), Sep 2013, Eindhoven, Netherlands. pp.10, ⟨10.1109/SCAM.2013.6648183⟩. ⟨hal-00844753v2⟩

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