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Comparison of Subjective Entropy and User Estimates of Software Complexity

  • John Stephen Davis
  • Melody J. Davis
  • Monique M. Law

Abstract

We investigated subjective entropy, a new information-theoretic measure of program comprehensibility which accounts for semantics and pragmatics involved in programmer-program interaction. Student subjects were administered subjective entropy tests on program samples in dBase III and Lotus 1-2-3 Macro Languages. Since the test employed an automated tool and required an average of only 20 minutes, we found it practical to administer. Subjective entropy scores indicated that the program in Lotus 1-2-3 macro language was more difficult to understand. The scores were consistent with expert opinion and with the subjective ratings of the subjects.

Keywords

Program Sample Automate Tool Software Complexity Syntactic Property Bell System Technical Journal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Stephen Davis
    • 1
  • Melody J. Davis
    • 1
  • Monique M. Law
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ManagementClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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