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Using Coupling Measurement for Impact Analysis in Object-Oriented Systems

: Briand, L.C.; Wüst, J.; Lounis, H.

Kaiserslautern, 1999, 8 S. : Ill., Lit.
ISERN Technical Report, 99-03
Reportnr.: ISERN 99-03
Fraunhofer IESE ()
coupling; impact analysis; measurement; metrics; object-oriented

Many coupling measures have been proposed in the context of object-oriented (OO) systems. In addition, several studies have highlighted the complexity of using dependency analysis in OO software to perform impact analysis. The question is then: can we use simple decision models based on coupling measurement to support impact analysis in OO systems? Such an approach has for main advantage its simplicity and complete automation. To investigate this question, we perform here a thorough analysis on a commercial C++ system where change data has been collected over several years. We identify the coupling dimensions that seem to be significantly related to ripple effects and use them to rank classes according to their probability of containing ripple effects. We then assess the expected effectiveness of such decision models.