Early Crosscutting Metrics as Predictors of Software Instability

  • José M. Conejero
  • Eduardo Figueiredo
  • Alessandro Garcia
  • Juan Hernández
  • Elena Jurado
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 33)


Many researchers claim that crosscutting concerns, which emerge in early software development stages, are harmful to software stability. On the other hand, there is a lack of effective metrics that allow software developers to understand and predict the characteristics of “early” crosscutting concerns that lead to software instabilities. In general, existing crosscutting metrics are defined for specific programming languages and have been evaluated only against source-code analysis, when major design decisions have already been made. This paper presents a generic suite of metrics to objectively quantify key crosscutting properties, such as scattering and tangling. The definition of the metrics is agnostic to particular language intricacies and can be applied to all early software development artifacts, such as usecases and scenarios. We have performed a first stability study of crosscutting on requirements documents. The results pointed out that early scattering and crosscutting have, in general, a strong correlation with major software instabilities and, therefore, can help developers to anticipate important decisions regarding stability at early stages of development.


Concern Metrics Modularity Stability Requirements Engineering 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • José M. Conejero
    • 1
  • Eduardo Figueiredo
    • 2
  • Alessandro Garcia
    • 3
  • Juan Hernández
    • 1
  • Elena Jurado
    • 1
  1. 1.Quercus Software Engineering GroupUniversity of ExtremaduraSpain
  2. 2.Computing DepartmentLancaster UniversityUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Informatics DepartmentPontifical Catholic University of Rio de JaneiroBrazil

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