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Most interesting software systems are large and complex, and as a consequence, understanding their structure is difficult. One of the reasons for this complexity is that source code contains many entities (e.g., classes, modules) that depend on each other in intricate ways (e.g., procedure calls, variable references). Additionally, once a software engineer understands a system's structure, it is difficult to preserve this understanding, because the structure tends to change during maintenance. Research into the software clustering problem has proposed several approaches to deal with the above issue by defining techniques that partition the structure of a software system into subsystems (clusters).
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