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The motivation of this study is to bridge the gap between component providers and component users, especially in the area of component evaluation, using component information flow (CIF) measurement and multidimensional approaches for measurement interpretation. By measuring the design of component-based software systems (CBSS), software designers, testers and maintainers may be able to locate weaknesses in the system design and to estimate the effort required to test as well as the cost of maintenance. This study proposes a CIF based on inter-component flow and intra-component flow. Moreover, a set of metrics based on the CIF was developed to characterise and evaluate the effect of the component design size on the quality of CBSS design. The theoretical evaluation results indicated that the proposed metrics are valid size measures. An application that demonstrates the intuitiveness of the mentioned approach is also presented. Results show that multidimensional analysis of design size appears promising as a means of capturing the quality of the CBSS design in question.
Date of Publication: August 2012