ceClub: How Code Regularity Affects Code Complexity

Dror Feitelson (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Wednesday, 15.4.2015, 11:30

It is naturally easier to comprehend simple code relative to complicated code. We suggest that code regularity — where the same structures are repeated time after time — may significantly reduce complexity, because once one figures out the basic repeated element it is easier to understand additional instances. We demonstrate this by controlled experiments where subjects perform cognitive tasks on different versions of the same basic function. The results also suggest a context-sensitive model of complexity, where syntactic constructs are weighted by their place in the sequence. Joint work with Ahmad Jbara.

Dror Feitelson is a professor of computer science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research interests include software evolution and program comprehension, especially what makes software hard to understand. In addition he has worked on parallel job scheduling and experimental performance evaluation, and maintains the Parallel Workloads Archive. His book on workload modeling has recently been published by Cambridge University Press.

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