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On the Positive Effect of Reactive Programming on Software Comprehension: An Empirical Study

Salvaneschi, Guido ; Proksch, Sebastian ; Amann, Sven ; Nadi, Sarah ; Mezini, Mira :
On the Positive Effect of Reactive Programming on Software Comprehension: An Empirical Study.
[Online-Edition: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7827078/]
IEEE ISSN 1939-3520
[Zeitschriftenheft oder -band], (2017) (Im Druck)

Offizielle URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7827078/

Kurzbeschreibung (Abstract)

Starting from the first investigations with strictly functional languages, reactive programming has been proposed as the programming paradigm for reactive applications. Over the years, researchers have enriched reactive languages with more powerful abstractions, embedded these abstractions into mainstream languages – including object-oriented languages – and applied reactive programming to several domains, like GUIs, animations, Web applications, robotics, and sensor networks. However, an important assumption behind this line of research is that, beside other claimed advantages, reactive programming makes a wide class of otherwise cumbersome applications more comprehensible. This claim has never been evaluated. In this paper, we present the first empirical study that evaluates the effect of reactive programming on comprehension. The study involves 127 subjects and compares reactive programming to the traditional object-oriented style with the Observer design pattern. Our findings show that program comprehension is significantly enhanced by the reactive-programming paradigm – a result that suggests to further develop research in this field.

Typ des Eintrags: Zeitschriftenheft oder -band
Erschienen: 2017
Autor(en): Salvaneschi, Guido ; Proksch, Sebastian ; Amann, Sven ; Nadi, Sarah ; Mezini, Mira
Titel: On the Positive Effect of Reactive Programming on Software Comprehension: An Empirical Study
Sprache: Englisch
Kurzbeschreibung (Abstract):

Starting from the first investigations with strictly functional languages, reactive programming has been proposed as the programming paradigm for reactive applications. Over the years, researchers have enriched reactive languages with more powerful abstractions, embedded these abstractions into mainstream languages – including object-oriented languages – and applied reactive programming to several domains, like GUIs, animations, Web applications, robotics, and sensor networks. However, an important assumption behind this line of research is that, beside other claimed advantages, reactive programming makes a wide class of otherwise cumbersome applications more comprehensible. This claim has never been evaluated. In this paper, we present the first empirical study that evaluates the effect of reactive programming on comprehension. The study involves 127 subjects and compares reactive programming to the traditional object-oriented style with the Observer design pattern. Our findings show that program comprehension is significantly enhanced by the reactive-programming paradigm – a result that suggests to further develop research in this field.

Verlag: IEEE
Freie Schlagworte: Software Comprehension, Reactive Programming, Empirical Study, Controlled Experiment
Fachbereich(e)/-gebiet(e): 20 Fachbereich Informatik > Softwaretechnik
20 Fachbereich Informatik
Hinterlegungsdatum: 15 Feb 2017 07:46
Offizielle URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7827078/
ID-Nummer: https://doi.org/10.1109/TSE.2017.2655524
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