A survey of search-based refactoring for software maintenance


  • Michael Mohan Queen's University Belfast
  • Des Greer Queen's University Belfast


Review, Search-based software engineering, Software maintenance, Refactoring, Software metrics, Metaheuristic search, Multi-objective optimization


This survey reviews published materials related to the specific area of Search-Based Software Engineering that concerns software maintenance and, in particular, refactoring. The survey aims to give a comprehensive review of the use of search-based refactoring to maintain software. Fifty different papers have been selected from online databases to analyze and review the use of search-based refactoring in software engineering. The current state of the research is analyzed and patterns in the studies are investigated in order to assess gaps in the area and suggest opportunities for future research. The papers reviewed are tabulated in order to aid researchers in quickly referencing studies. The literature addresses different methods using search-based refactoring for software maintenance, as well as studies that investigate the optimization process and discuss components of the search. There are studies that analyze different software metrics, experiment with multi-objective techniques and propose refactoring tools for use. Analysis of the literature has indicated some opportunities for future research in the area. More experimentation of the techniques in an industrial environment and feedback from software developers is needed to support the approaches. Also, recent work with multi-objective techniques has shown that there are exciting possibilities for future research using these techniques with refactoring. This survey is beneficial as an introduction for any researchers aiming to work in the area of Search-Based Software Engineering with respect to software maintenance and will allow them to gain an understanding of the current landscape of the research and the insights gathered.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Mohan, M., & Greer, D. (2018). A survey of search-based refactoring for software maintenance. Journal of Software Engineering Research and Development, 6, 3:1 – 3:52. Retrieved from https://journals-sol.sbc.org.br/index.php/jserd/article/view/453



Software Article