Evaluating refactorings for spreadsheet models

Jácome Cunha, João Paulo Fernandes, Pedro Martins, Jorge Mendes, Rui Pereira, João Saraiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Software refactoring is a well-known technique that provides transformations on software artifacts with the aim of improving their overall quality. We have previously proposed a catalog of refactorings for spreadsheet models expressed in the ClassSheets modeling language, which allows us to specify the business logic of a spreadsheet in an object-oriented fashion. Reasoning about spreadsheets at the model level enhances a model-driven spreadsheet environment where a ClassSheet model and its conforming instance (spreadsheet data) automatically co-evolves after applying a refactoring at the model level. Research motivation was to improve the model and its conforming instance: the spreadsheet data. In this paper we define such refactorings using previously proposed evolution steps for models and instances. We also present an empirical study we designed and conducted in order to confirm our original intuition that these refactorings have a positive impact on end-user productivity, both in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The results are not only presented in terms of productivity changes between refactored and non-refactored scenarios, but also the overall user satisfaction, relevance, and experience. In almost all cases the refactorings improved end-users productivity. Moreover, in most cases users were more engaged with the refactored version of the spreadsheets they worked with.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-250
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Volume118
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Empirical study
  • Model-driven engineering
  • Software refactoring
  • Spreadsheets

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