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Information Retrieval methods have been largely adopted to identify traceability links based on the textual similarity of software artifacts. However, noise due to word usage in software artifacts might negatively affect the recovery accuracy. We propose the use of smoothing filters to reduce the effect of noise in software artifacts and improve the performances of traceability recovery methods. An empirical evaluation performed on two repositories indicates that the usage of a smoothing filter is able to significantly improve the performances of Vector Space Model and Latent Semantic
Indexing. Such a result suggests that other than being used for traceability recovery the proposed filter can be used to improve performances of various other software engineering approaches based on textual analysis.