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Research for code similarity

This is a small tutorial to explore code similarity.

Check the code example here.

The major idea is register all expression styles and see if we can find some similarity between the structures.

First we need to create a function that can analyze AST nodes and extract a pattern from the expression.

The expression needs to generalize final node values and recursively build a pattern that can be used as a search expression.

def expression_from(node)
  case node
  when Parser::AST::Node
    if node.children.any?
      children_expression = node.children
        .join(' ')
      "(#{node.type} #{children_expression})"
  when nil, 'nil'
  when Symbol, String, Integer
  when Array, Hash

The pattern generated only flexibilize the search allowing us to group similar nodes.


expression_from(code['1']) # =>'(int _)'
expression_from(code['nil']) # =>'(nil)'
expression_from(code['a = 1']) # =>'(lvasgn _ (int _))'
expression_from(code['def name; end']) # =>'(def _ (args) (send (send nil _) _))'

The current method can translate all kind of expressions and the next step is observe some specific node types and try to group the similarities using the pattern generated.

Fast.search_file('class', 'lib/fast.rb')
Capturing the constant name and filtering only for symbols is easy and we can see that we have a few classes defined in the the same file.

Fast.search_file('(class (const nil $_))','lib/fast.rb').grep(Symbol)
=> [:Rewriter,

The idea of this inspecton is build a proof of concept to show the similarity of matcher classes because they only define a match? method.

patterns = Fast.search_file('class','lib/fast.rb').map{|n|Fast.expression_from(n)}

A simple comparison between the patterns size versus .uniq.size can proof if the idea will work.

patterns.size == patterns.uniq.size

It does not work for the matcher cases but we can go deeper and analyze all files required by bundler.

similarities = {}
Gem.find_files('*.rb').each do |file|
  Fast.search_file('{block send if while case def defs class module}', file).map do |n|
    key = Fast.expression_from(n)
    similarities[key] ||=
    similarities[key] << file
similarities.delete_if {|k,v|v.size < 2}
The similarities found are the following:

{"(class (const nil _) (const nil _) nil)"=>
  #<Set: {"/Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/parallel-1.12.1/lib/parallel.rb",
 "(class (const nil _) nil nil)"=>#<Set: {"/Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/ripper.rb", "/Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/cgi.rb"}>}

And now we can test the expression using the command line tool through the files and observe the similarity:

⋊> ~ fast "(class (const nil _) (const nil _) nil)" /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/parallel-1.12.1/lib/parallel.rb /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/method_source-0.9.0/lib/method_source.rb /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rdoc.rb /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/irb.rb /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/tsort.rb


# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/parallel-1.12.1/lib/parallel.rb:8
class DeadWorker < StandardError
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/parallel-1.12.1/lib/parallel.rb:11
class Break < StandardError
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/parallel-1.12.1/lib/parallel.rb:14
class Kill < StandardError
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/gems/2.5.0/gems/method_source-0.9.0/lib/method_source.rb:16
class SourceNotFoundError < StandardError; end
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/rdoc.rb:63
class Error < RuntimeError; end
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/irb.rb:338
class Abort < Exception;end
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/tsort.rb:125
class Cyclic < StandardError

It works and now we can create a method to do what the command line tool did, grouping the patterns and inspecting the occurrences.

def pattern
  files = self[pattern]
  files.each do |file|
    nodes = Fast.search_file(pattern, file)
    nodes.each do |result|, file: file)

And calling the method exploring some "if" similarities, it prints the following results: "(if (send (const nil _) _ (lvar _)) nil (return (false)))"
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/resolv.rb:1248
return false unless Name === other
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/fileutils.rb:138
return false unless File.exist?(new)
# /Users/jonatasdp/.rbenv/versions/2.5.1/lib/ruby/2.5.0/matrix.rb:1862
return false unless Vector === other