The Development and Prospect of Code Clone

by   Xunhui Zhang, et al.

The application of code clone technology accelerates code search, improves code reuse efficiency, and assists in software quality assessment and code vulnerability detection. However, the application of code clones also introduces software quality issues and increases the cost of software maintenance. As an important research field in software engineering, code clone has been extensively explored and studied by researchers, and related studies on various sub-research fields have emerged, including code clone detection, code clone evolution, code clone analysis, etc. However, there lacks a comprehensive exploration of the entire field of code clone, as well as an analysis of the trend of each sub-research field. This paper collects related work of code clones in the past ten years. In summary, the contributions of this paper mainly include: (1) summarize and classify the sub-research fields of code clone, and explore the relative popularity and relation of these sub-research fields; (2) analyze the overall research trend of code clone and each sub-research field; (3) compare and analyze the difference between academy and industry regarding code clone research; (4) construct a network of researchers, and excavate the major contributors in code clone research field; (5) The list of popular conferences and journals was statistically analyzed. The popular research directions in the future include clone visualization, clone management, etc. For the clone detection technique, researchers can optimize the scalability and execution efficiency of the method, targeting particular clone detection tasks and contextual environments, or apply the technology to other related research fields continuously.


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