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Defining and validating measures for object-based high-level design

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3 Author(s)
L. C. Briand ; Fraunhofer-Inst. for Exp. Software Eng., Kaiserslautern, Germany ; S. Morasca ; V. R. Basili

The availability of significant measures in the early phases of the software development life-cycle allows for better management of the later phases, and more effective quality assessment when quality can be more easily affected by preventive or corrective actions. We introduce and compare various high-level design measures for object-based software systems. The measures are derived based on an experimental goal, identifying fault-prone software parts, and several experimental hypotheses arising from the development of Ada systems for Flight Dynamics Software at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (NASA/GSFC). Specifically, we define a set of measures for cohesion and coupling, which satisfy a previously published set of mathematical properties that are necessary for any such measures to be valid. We then investigate the measures' relationship to fault-proneness on three large scale projects, to provide empirical support for their practical significance and usefulness

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 5 )