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Software architecture graphs as complex networks: a novel partitioning scheme to measure stability and evolution
University West, Department of Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Division for Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4288-7653
University West, Department of Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Division for Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0462-6962
2007 (English)In: Information Sciences, ISSN 0020-0255, Vol. 177, no 12, 2587-2601 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The stability and evolution of the structure of consecutive versions of a series of software architecture graphs are analysed using the theory of complex networks. Brief comparisons are drawn between the scale-free behaviour and second order phase transitions. On this basis a software design metric Icc is proposed. This software metric is used to quantify the evolution of the stability vs. maintainability of the software through various releases. It is demonstrated that the classes in the software graph are acquiring more out-going calls than incoming calls as the software ages. Three examples of software applications where maintainability and continuous refactoring are an inherent part of their development process are presented, in addition to a Sun Java2 framework where growth and backward compatibility are the more important factors for the development. Further to this a projected future evolution of the software structure and maintainability is calculated. Suggestions for future applications to software engineering and the natural sciences are briefly presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 177, no 12, 2587-2601 p.
Keyword [en]
Software measurement, Software metric, Lehman’s laws, Complexity, Scale-free, Directed network, Power law
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Engineering, Computer engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-130DOI: 10.1016/j.ins.2007.01.021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-130DiVA: diva2:211478
Available from: 2009-04-15 Created: 2009-04-15 Last updated: 2014-05-08Bibliographically approved

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