Monitoring evolution of code complexity and magnitude of changes

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...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Antinyan Vard
Staron Miroslaw
Hansson Jörgen
Meding Wilhelm
Österström Per
Henriksson Anders
Corporate Author: Symposium on Programming Languages and Software Tools (2013) (Szeged)
Format: Article
Published: 2014
Series:Acta cybernetica 21 No. 3
Kulcsszavak:Számítástechnika
Subjects:
doi:10.14232/actacyb.21.3.2014.6

Online Access:http://acta.bibl.u-szeged.hu/34474
Description
Summary: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.
Physical Description:367-382
ISSN:0324-721X