Detecting and resolving feature envy through automated machine learning and move method refactoring

Dimah Al-Fraihat, Yousef Sharrab, Abdel-Rahman Al-Ghuwairi, Majed AlElaimat, Maram Alzaidi


Efficiently identifying and resolving code smells enhances software project quality. This paper presents a novel solution, utilizing automated machine learning (AutoML) techniques, to detect code smells and apply move method refactoring. By evaluating code metrics before and after refactoring, we assessed its impact on coupling, complexity, and cohesion. Key contributions of this research include a unique dataset for code smell classification and the development of models using AutoGluon for optimal performance. Furthermore, the study identifies the top 20 influential features in classifying feature envy, a well-known code smell, stemming from excessive reliance on external classes. We also explored how move method refactoring addresses feature envy, revealing reduced coupling and complexity, and improved cohesion, ultimately enhancing code quality. In summary, this research offers an empirical, data-driven approach, integrating AutoML and move method refactoring to optimize software project quality. Insights gained shed light on the benefits of refactoring on code quality and the significance of specific features in detecting feature envy. Future research can expand to explore additional refactoring techniques and a broader range of code metrics, advancing software engineering practices and standards.


Automated machine learning; Code smell; Feature envy; Move method; Refactoring; Software quality

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International Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (IJECE)
p-ISSN 2088-8708, e-ISSN 2722-2578

This journal is published by the Institute of Advanced Engineering and Science (IAES) in collaboration with Intelektual Pustaka Media Utama (IPMU).