Hi everyone!

I am Giulia Sellitto, Ph.D. Student in Computer Science at the University of Salerno, Italy.
I am with the SeSa Lab and my main research area is Software Engineering.
I have been an ACM and IEEE student member since 2021.


Toward Understanding the Impact of Refactoring on Program Comprehension

Giulia Sellitto, Emanuele Iannone, Zadia Codabux, Valentina Lenarduzzi, Andrea De Lucia, Fabio Palomba, Filomena Ferrucci

29th International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering (SANER 2022)

Distinguished Paper Award

Software refactoring is the activity associated with developers changing the internal structure of source code without modifying its external behavior. The literature argues that refactoring might have beneficial and harmful implications for software maintainability, primarily when performed without the support of automated tools. This paper continues the narrative on the effects of refactoring by exploring the dimension of program comprehension, namely the property that describes how easy it is for developers to understand source code. We start our investigation by assessing the basic unit of program comprehension, namely program readability. Next, we set up a large-scale empirical investigation – conducted on 156 open-source projects – to quantify the impact of refactoring on program readability. First, we mine refactoring data and, for each commit involving a refactoring, we compute (i) the amount and type(s) of refactoring actions performed and (ii) eight state-of-the-art program comprehension metrics. Afterwards, we build statistical models relating the various refactoring operations to each of the readability metrics considered to quantify the extent to which each refactoring impacts the metrics in either a positive or negative manner. The key results are that refactoring has a notable impact on most of the readability metrics considered.

CitationPDFOnline Library



Social Media Chair

  • 49th Euromicro Conference Series on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA 2023)


  • 45th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2023), NIER Track

Social Media and Web Co-Chair

  • 3rd Workshop on Gender Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Software Engineering (GE@ICSE 2022)


  • ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM)
  • Elsevier Journal of Systems and Software (JSS)
  • Elsevier Science of Computer Programming (SCICO)
  • 22nd IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM 2022), NIER Track
  • 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2022), NIER Track
  • 16th ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (EMSE 2022)
  • 13th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON 2022)
  • 37th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2022), Tool Demo Track
  • 26th ACM Conference on Computer‐Supported Cooperative Work And Social Computing (CSCW 2023)

Student Volunteer

  • 44th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2022)


  • Elsevier Journal of Systems and Software (JSS)

Student Volunteer

  • 43rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2021)
  • 8th ACM Celebration of Women in Computing (WomENcourage 2021)


Ph.D. in Computer Science

Nov 2021 - present

University of Salerno, Italy

Curriculum: Internet of Things and Smart Technologies • Advisor: Prof. Filomena Ferrucci

M.Sc. in Computer Science cum laude

2018 - 2021

University of Salerno, Italy

Curriculum: Internet of Things

Thesis: The Impact of Release‐based Validation on Software Vulnerability Prediction Models • Advisor: Prof. Filomena Ferrucci

24 CFU for Teaching

2019 - 2020

University of Salerno, Italy

Topics: Computer Science Education, Pedagogy, Docimology, Relationships between Emotions and Learning

B.Sc. in Computer Science cum laude

2015 - 2018

University of Salerno, Italy

Thesis: Kelnero, un’App per la Gestione degli Ordini nei Ristoranti (Italian) • Advisor: Prof. Vittorio Fuccella