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An Empirical Study of Software Metrics

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2 Author(s)
H. F. Li ; Department of Computer Science ; W. K. Cheung

Software metrics are computed for the purpose of evaluating certain characteristics of the software developed. A Fortran static source code analyzer, FORTRANAL, was developed to study 31 metrics, including a new hybrid metric introduced in this paper, and applied to a database of 255 programs, all of which were student assignments. Comparisons among these metrics are performed. Their cross-correlation confirms the internal consistency of some of these metrics which belong to the same class. To remedy the incompleteness of most of these metrics, the proposed metric incorporates context sensitivity to structural attributes extracted from a flow graph. It is also concluded that many volume metrics have similar performance while some control metrics surprisingly correlate well with typical volume metrics in the test samples used. A flexible class of hybrid metric can incorporate both volume and control attributes in assessing software complexity.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:SE-13 ,  Issue: 6 )