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3.15) What Is Available on OO Metrics? (Object-Oriented Technology)


This article is from the Object-Oriented Technology FAQ, by Bob Hathaway rjh@geodesic.com with numerous contributions by others.

3.15) What Is Available on OO Metrics? (Object-Oriented Technology)

This section is still building.


[Berard 93] contains an elaborate bibliography and section on OO metrics.
[Booch 94] also contains some coverage.

Object Oriented Software development
Mark Lorenz ISBN 0-13-726928-5
Prentice Hall

Software Metrics
Grady-Caswell ISBN 0-13-821844-7
Prentice Hall

Measuring Software Design Quality
Card-Glass ISBN 0-13-568593-1
Prentice Hall

From: trilk@informatik.tu-muenchen.de (Joern Trilk)
Newsgroups: comp.object, comp.lang.c++, comp.lang.smalltalk,
Subject: Re: In search of OO Metrics
Date: 20 Jun 1994 14:29:27 GMT

Here are some references:

author = {G. Michael Barnes and Bradley R. Swim},
title = {Inheriting software metrics},
journal = {JOOP},
year = {1993},
month = {Nov./Dec.},
volume = {6},
number = {7},
pages = {27-34}

author = {J.-Y. Chen and J.-F. Lu},
title = {A new metric for object-oriented design},
journal = {Information and Software Technology},
year = {1993},
month = apr,
volume = {35},
number = {4},
pages = {232-240}

author = {Shyam R. Chidamber and Chris F. Kemerer},
title = {Towards a Metrics Suite for Object Oriented Design},
booktitle = {OOPSLA '91 Proceeedings},
year = {1991},
pages = {197-211}

author = {J. Chris Coppick and Thomas J. Cheatham},
title = {Software Metrics for Object-Oriented Systems},
booktitle = {CSC '92 Proceedings},
year = {1992},
pages = {317-322}

author = {B. Henderson-Sellers},
title = {Some metrics for object-oriented software engineering},
booktitle = {TOOLS Proceedings},
year = {1991},
pages = {131-139}

author = {Wei Li and Sallie Henry},
title = {Object-Oriented Metrics that Predict Maintainability},
journal = {J. Systems Software},
year = {1993},
volume = {23},
pages = {111-122}

author = {Teri Roberts},
title = {Workshop Report - Metrics for Object-Oriented Software Development},
booktitle = {OOPSLA '92 (Addendum to the Proceedings)},
year = {1992},
pages = {97-100}

author = {A. Buth},
title = {Softwaremetriken f{\"u}r objekt-orientierte Programmiersprachen}, institution = {Gesellschaft f{\"u}r Mathematik und
year = {1991},
month = jun,
number = {545},
type = {Arbeitspapiere der GMD}

The Software Engineering FAQ lists the following references concerning
metrics for object-oriented systems:

Date: 26 Jan 1993 Originally collected by: ZUSE%DB0TUI11.BITNET@vm.gmd.de
(Horst Zuse)

a. Morris Kenneth L. Metrics for Object-Oriented Software Development
Environments (master's thesis). 1989, MIT.
b. Rocacher, Daniel: Metrics Definitions for Smalltalk. Project ESPRIT 1257,
MUSE WP9A, 1988.
c. Rocacher, Daniel: Smalltalk Measure Analysis Manual. Project ESPRIT 1257,
MUSE WP9A, 1989.
d. Lake, Al: A Software Complexity Metric for C++. Annual Oregon Workshop on
Software Metrics, March 22-24, 1992, Silver Falls, Oregon, USA.
e. Bieman, J.M.: Deriving Measures of Software Reuse in Object Oriented
Systems. Technical Report #CS91-112, July 1991, Colorado State Universty,
Fort Collins/ Colorado, USA.

Hope this helps,

Joern Trilk			Phone: ++49-89-2105-2391
Institut fuer Informatik (H1)	Fax:   ++49-89-2105-5296
TU Muenchen			Email: trilk@informatik.tu-muenchen.de
80290 Muenchen                    

Newsgroups: comp.software-eng
From: scottw@advsysres.com (Scott A. Whitmire)
Subject: Re: Any good OO metrics?
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 1994 05:58:29 GMT

In <3baqhn$crg@newsbf01.news.aol.com>, cjdavies@aol.com (Cjdavies) writes:
>Has anyone come up with metrics that work realistically for OO
>development? The old lines of code, cyclomatic complexity and Halstead
>metrics don't work so well with OO languages such as Smalltalk (or any
>language that facilitates reuse). Also, has anyone adapted function
>points to OO languages? Any ideas would be most welcome.
>Colin Davies.

Several people have been working in metrics for oo development. For a quick
synopsis, check out my article in the "Encyclopedia of Software Engineering"
edited by John Marciniak and published by John Wiley & Sons. The article
gives an overview of the work being done in the field, and what needs to be
done. It is a couple of years old now, but there really isn't that much going

I did run into one book called "Object-Oriented Software Metrics" (I forget the
authors), but I didn't think much of it.

Your assessment of LOC, cyclomatic complexity, and Halsted are right on the

As for function points and OO, I think you'll find two papers useful. The first
is a chapter I wrote for the "Software Engineering Productivity Handbook" edited
by Jessica Keyes and published by McGraw-Hill. It applies standard function points
to OO software. I suspect you'll find standard function points wanting. I use
an extension I developed a couple of years ago called 3D function points. I have
an electronic (plain text) version of the paper I can send if you like.

Metrics and OO development are fairly new to each other. I am working on ways to
measure such design characteristics as cohesion, coupling, complexity, similarity
and the like. I haven't been too thrilled with the work that has been done so far.
Much of it has serious theoretical and technical flaws.

Scott A. Whitmire             scottw@advsysres.com
Advanced Systems Research     
25238 127th Avenue SE         tel:(206)631-7868
Kent Washington 98031         fax:(206)630-2238

Consultants in networking, network-based applications, and software metrics.


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