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ICPC 2021
Tue 18 - Thu 20 May 2021
co-located with ICSE 2021
Thu 20 May 2021 17:40 - 17:50 at ICPC Main Room - Understanding Systems -3 Chair(s): Alexander Serebrenik

Although writing code seems trivial at times, problems arise when humans misinterpret what the code actually does. One of the potential causes are “atoms of confusion”, the smallest possible patterns of misinterpretable source code. Previous research has investigated the impact of atoms of confusion in C code. Results show that developers make significantly more mistakes in code where atoms are present.

In this paper, we replicate the work of Gopstein et al. to the Java language. After deriving a set of atoms of confusion for Java, we perform a two-phase experiment with 132 computer science students (i.e., novice developers).

Our results show that participants are 2.7 up to 56 times more likely to make mistakes in code snippets affected by 7 out of the 14 studied atoms of confusion, and when faced with both versions of the code snippets, participants perceived the version affected by the atom of confusion to be more confusing and/or less readable in 10 out of the 14 studied atoms of confusion.

Thu 20 May

Displayed time zone: Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna change

17:40 - 18:00
Understanding Systems -3Research at ICPC Main Room
Chair(s): Alexander Serebrenik Eindhoven University of Technology
Atoms of Confusion in Java
Chris Langhout , Maurício Aniche Delft University of Technology
Pre-print Media Attached
Bug or not bug? That is the question
Quentin Perez , Pierre-Antoine Jean , Christelle Urtado EuroMov DHM, Univ Montpellier & IMT Mines Ales, Sylvain Vauttier
Pre-print Media Attached

Information for Participants
Thu 20 May 2021 17:40 - 18:00 at ICPC Main Room - Understanding Systems -3 Chair(s): Alexander Serebrenik
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