Improving API Usage Through Automatic Detection of Redundant Code

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Executive Summary

Software projects often rely on third-party libraries made accessible through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The authors have observed many cases where APIs are used in ways that are not the most effective. They developed a technique and tool support to automatically detect such patterns of API usage in software projects. The main hypothesis underlying their technique is that client code imitating the behavior of an API method without calling it may not be using the API effectively because it could instead call the method it imitates. Their technique involves analyzing software systems to detect cases of API method imitations. In addition to warning developers of potentially re-implemented API methods, they also indicate how to improve the use of the API.

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