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A metrics suite for object oriented design

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2 Author(s)
Chidamber, S.R. ; MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA ; Kemerer, C.F.

Given the central role that software development plays in the delivery and application of information technology, managers are increasingly focusing on process improvement in the software development area. This demand has spurred the provision of a number of new and/or improved approaches to software development, with perhaps the most prominent being object-orientation (OO). In addition, the focus on process improvement has increased the demand for software measures, or metrics with which to manage the process. The need for such metrics is particularly acute when an organization is adopting a new technology for which established practices have yet to be developed. This research addresses these needs through the development and implementation of a new suite of metrics for OO design. Metrics developed in previous research, while contributing to the field's understanding of software development processes, have generally been subject to serious criticisms, including the lack of a theoretical base. Following Wand and Weber (1989), the theoretical base chosen for the metrics was the ontology of Bunge (1977). Six design metrics are developed, and then analytically evaluated against Weyuker's (1988) proposed set of measurement principles. An automated data collection tool was then developed and implemented to collect an empirical sample of these metrics at two field sites in order to demonstrate their feasibility and suggest ways in which managers may use these metrics for process improvement

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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 6 )