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The authors propose a parallel between object-oriented system designs and living creatures. They suggest that, like any living creature, system designs are subject to diseases, which are design smells (code smells and anti-patterns). Design smells are conjectured in the literature to impact the quality and life of systems and, therefore, their detection has drawn the attention of both researchers and practitioners with various approaches. With their parallel, they propose a novel approach built on models of the immune system responses to pathogenic material. They show that their approach can detect more than one smell at a time. They build and test their approach on GanttProject v1.10.2 and Xerces v2.7.0, for which manually-validated and publicly-available smells exist.
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