A Case Study on Structural Characteristics of Object-oriented Design and Its Stability

M.O. Elish (USA)


Design structural stability, software evolution, softwaremetrics, object-oriented designs.


Design structural stability refers to the extent to which the structure of a design is preserved throughout the evolution of the software from one release to the next. This paper investigates whether there are some structural characteristics (metrics) of object-oriented design that are indicators of its structural stability. Investigated metrics are related to size, inheritance, cohesion, and coupling. Design structural stability was assessed from each software release to the next using two metrics: a class based metric and a relationship-based metric. As a case study, measures were collected from 13 successive releases of Apache Ant.

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