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Towards Analyzing the Complexity Landscape of Solidity Based Ethereum Smart Contracts

MTA-SZTE Research Group on Artificial Intelligence, H-6720 Szeged, Hungary
Technologies 2019, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/technologies7010006
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 3 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Blockchain Technology and Applications)
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Abstract

Blockchain-based decentralized cryptocurrency platforms are currently one of the hottest topics in technology. Although most of the interest is generated by cryptocurrency related activities, it is becoming apparent that a much wider spectrum of applications can leverage the blockchain technology. The primary concepts enabling such general use of the blockchain are the so-called smart contracts, which are special programs that run on the blockchain. One of the most popular blockchain platforms that supports smart contracts is Ethereum. As smart contracts typically handle money, ensuring their low number of faults and vulnerabilities are essential. To aid smart contract developers and help to mature the technology, we need analysis tools and studies for smart contracts. As an initiative for this, we propose the adoption of some well-known OO metrics for Solidity smart contracts. Furthermore, we analyze more than 40 thousand Solidity source files with our prototype tool. The results suggest that smart contract programs are short, neither overly complex nor coupled too much, do not rely heavily on inheritance, and either quite well-commented or not commented at all. Moreover, smart contracts could benefit from an external library and dependency management mechanism, as more than 85% of the defined libraries in Solidity files code the same functionalities. View Full-Text
Keywords: static analysis; ethereum; smart contracts; metrics; complexity; blockchain static analysis; ethereum; smart contracts; metrics; complexity; blockchain
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Hegedűs, P. Towards Analyzing the Complexity Landscape of Solidity Based Ethereum Smart Contracts. Technologies 2019, 7, 6.

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