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The high cost of software during its life cycle can be attributer largely to software maintenance activities, and a major portion of these activities is to deal with the modifications of the software. In this paper, design stability measures which indicate the potential ripple effect characteristics due to modifications of the program at the design level are presented. These measures can be generated at any point in the design phase of the software life cycle which enables early maintainability feedback to the software developers. The validation of these measures and future research efforts involving the development of a user-oriented maintainability measure, which incorporates the design stability measures as well as other design measures, are discussed.
Date of Publication: Sept. 1985