Monitoring evolution of code complexity and magnitude of changes

Antinyan Vard and Staron Miroslaw and Hansson Jörgen and Meding Wilhelm and Österström Per and Henriksson Anders: Monitoring evolution of code complexity and magnitude of changes. In: Acta cybernetica, (21) 3. pp. 367-382. (2014)

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Complexity management has become a crucial activity in continuous software development. While the overall perceived complexity of a product grows rather insignificantly, the small units, such as functions and files, can have noticeable complexity growth with every increment of product features. This kind of evolution triggers risks of escalating fault-proneness and deteriorating maintainability. The goal of this research was to develop a measurement system which enables effective monitoring of complexity evolution. An action research has been conducted in two large software development organizations. We have measured three complexity and two change properties of code for two large industrial products. The complexity growth has been measured for five consecutive releases of the products. Different patterns of growth have been identified and evaluated with software engineers in industry. The results show that monitoring cyclomatic complexity evolution of functions and number of revisions of files focuses the attention of designers to potentially problematic files and functions for manual assessment and improvement. A measurement system was developed at Ericsson to support the monitoring process.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Acta cybernetica
Date: 2014
Volume: 21
Number: 3
ISSN: 0324-721X
Page Range: pp. 367-382
Language: English
Place of Publication: Szeged
Event Title: Symposium on Programming Languages and Software Tools (2013) (Szeged)
Related URLs:
DOI: 10.14232/actacyb.21.3.2014.6
Uncontrolled Keywords: Számítástechnika
Additional Information: Bibliogr.: p. 380-382. és a lábjegyzetekben ; ill. ; összefoglalás angol nyelven
Subjects: 01. Natural sciences
01. Natural sciences > 01.02. Computer and information sciences
Date Deposited: 2016. Oct. 17. 10:37
Last Modified: 2022. Jun. 20. 08:12

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