An empirical analysis of source code metrics and smart contract resource consumption

Ajienka, N. ORCID: 0000-0002-8792-282X, Vangorp, P. and Capiluppi, A., 2020. An empirical analysis of source code metrics and smart contract resource consumption. Journal of Software: Evolution and Process: e2267. ISSN 2047-7473

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A smart contract (SC) is a programme stored in the Ethereum blockchain by a contract‐creation transaction. SC developers deploy an instance of the SC and attempt to execute it in exchange for a fee, paid in Ethereum coins (Ether). If the computation needed for their execution turns out to be larger than the effort proposed by the developer (i.e., the gasLimit ), their client instantiation will not be completed successfully.

In this paper, we examine SCs from 11 Ethereum blockchain‐oriented software projects hosted on, and we evaluate the resources needed for their deployment (i.e., the gasUsed ). For each of these contracts, we also extract a suite of object‐oriented metrics, to evaluate their structural characteristics.

Our results show a statistically significant correlation between some of the object‐oriented (OO) metrics and the resources consumed on the Ethereum blockchain network when deploying SCs. This result has a direct impact on how Ethereum developers engage with a SC: evaluating its structural characteristics, they will be able to produce a better estimate of the resources needed to deploy it. Other results show specific source code metrics to be prioritised based on application domains when the projects are clustered based on common themes.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Software: Evolution and Process
Creators: Ajienka, N., Vangorp, P. and Capiluppi, A.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 14 May 2020
ISSN: 2047-7473
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 15 May 2020 10:25
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 16:49

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