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Empirical Evidence on the Link between Object-Oriented Measures and External Quality Attributes: A Systematic Literature Review
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0639-4234
Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
2015 (English)In: Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 20, no 3, 640-693 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a plethora of studies investigating object-oriented measures and their link with external quality attributes, but usefulness of the measures may differ across empirical studies. This study aims to aggregate and identify useful object-oriented measures, specifically those obtainable from the source code of object-oriented systems that have gone through such empirical evaluation. By conducting a systematic literature review, 99 primary studies were identified and traced to four external quality attributes: reliability, maintainability, effectiveness and functionality. A vote-counting approach was used to investigate the link be- tween object-oriented measures and the attributes, and to also assess the consistency of the relation reported across empirical studies. Most of the studies investigate links between object-oriented measures and proxies for reliability attributes, followed by proxies for maintainability. The least investigated attributes were: effectiveness and functionality. Measures from the C&K measurement suite were the most popular across studies. Vote-counting results suggest that complexity, cohesion, size and coupling measures have a better link with reliability and maintainability than inheritance measures. However, inheritance measures should not be overlooked during quality assessment initiatives; their link with reliability and maintainability could be context dependent. There were too few studies traced to effectiveness and functionality attributes; thus a meaningful vote-counting analysis could not be conducted for these attributes. Thus, there is a need for diversification of quality attributes investigated in empirical studies. This would help with identifying useful measures during quality assessment initiatives, and not just for reliability and maintainability aspects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer , 2015. Vol. 20, no 3, 640-693 p.
Keyword [en]
Systematic literature review, Object-oriented system, Source code analysis, Source code measures, Software metrics, Software quality, Static analysis
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-6633DOI: 10.1007/s10664-013-9291-7ISI: 000354480800003Local ID: diva2:834157
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2014-07-18 Created: 2013-12-08 Last updated: 2017-01-16Bibliographically approved

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Jabangwe, RonaldBörstler, JürgenŠmite, DarjaWohlin, Claes
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