Feature location is the activity of identifying an initial location in the source code that implements functionality in a software system. Many feature location techniques have been introduced that automate some or all of this process, and a comprehensive overview of this large body of work would be beneficial to researchers and practitioners. This paper presents a systematic literature survey of feature location techniques. Eighty-nine articles from 25 venues have been reviewed and classified within the taxonomy in order to organize and structure existing work in the field of feature location. The paper also discusses open issues and defines future directions in the field of feature location. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.