Skip to main content

(Automated) Software Modularization Using Community Detection

  • Conference paper
  • First Online:
Software Architecture (ECSA 2015)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Computer Science ((LNPSE,volume 9278))

Included in the following conference series:


The modularity of a software system is known to have an effect on, among other, development effort, change impact, and technical debt. Modularizing a specific system and evaluating this modularization is, however, challenging. In this paper, we apply community detection methods to the graph of class dependencies in software systems to find optimal modularizations through communities. We evaluate this approach through a study of 111 Java systems contained in the Qualitas Corpus. We found that using the modularity function of Newman with an Erdős-Rényi null-model and using the community detection algorithm of Reichardt and Bornholdt improved community quality for all systems, that coupling decreased for 99 of the systems, and that coherence increased for 102 of the systems. Furthermore, the modularity function correlates with existing metrics for coupling and coherence.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or eBook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD 39.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  1. Baldwin, C.Y., Clark, K.B.: Design Rules: The Power of Modularity, vol. 1. MIT Press, Cambridge (2000)

    Google Scholar 

  2. Wilkie, F., Kitchenham, B.: Coupling measures and change ripples in C++ application software. Journal of Systems and Software 52(23), 157–164 (2000)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Li, Z., Liang, P., Avgeriou, P., Guelfi, N., Ampatzoglou, A.: An empirical investigation of modularity metrics for indicating architectural technical debt. In: Proceedings of the 10th International ACM Sigsoft Conference on Quality of Software Architectures, QoSA 2014, New York, NY, USA, pp. 119–128. ACM (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  4. Abdeen, H., Ducasse, S., Sahraoui, H.: Modularization metrics: Assessing package organization in legacy large object-oriented software. In: 2011 18th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE), pp. 394–398, October 2011

    Google Scholar 

  5. Abdeen, H., Sahraoui, H., Shata, O., Anquetil, N., Ducasse, S.: Towards automatically improving package structure while respecting original design decisions. In: 2013 20th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering (WCRE), pp. 212–221. IEEE (2013)

    Google Scholar 

  6. Praditwong, K., Harman, M., Yao, X.: Software module clustering as a multi-objective search problem. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 37(2), 264–282 (2011)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. de Oliveira Barros, M., de Almeida Farzat, F., Travassos, G.H.: Learning from optimization: A case study with apache ant. Information and Software Technology 57, 684–704 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Martin, R.C.: The tipping point: Stability and instability in OO design. Dr Dobb’s, March 2005

    Google Scholar 

  9. Sarkar, S., Kak, A.C., Rama, G.M.: Metrics for measuring the quality of modularization of large-scale object-oriented software. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 34(5), 700–720 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Briand, L.C., Daly, J.W., Wüst, J.: A unified framework for cohesion measurement in object-oriented systems. Empirical Software Engineering 3(1), 65–117 (1998)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Newman, M.E.J., Girvan, M.: Finding and evaluating community structure in networks. Phys. Rev. E 69(2), 026113 (2004)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Mucha, P.J., Richardson, T., Macon, K., Porter, M.A., Onnela, J.P.: Community structure in time-dependent, multiscale, and multiplex networks. Science 328(5980), 876–878 (2010)

    Article  MathSciNet  MATH  Google Scholar 

  13. Gentea, A., Madsen, T.: Using community detection methods for automated software architecture recovery. Master’s thesis, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, September 2014

    Google Scholar 

  14. Blondel, V.D., Guillaume, J.L., Lambiotte, R., Lefebvre, E.: Fast unfolding of communities in large networks. Journal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment 2008(10), P10008 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Newman, M.E.: Finding community structure in networks using the eigenvectors of matrices. Physical Review E 74(3), 036104 (2006)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

  16. Wohlin, C., Runeson, P., Höst, M., Ohlsson, M.C., Regnell, B., Wesslén, A.: Experimentation in software engineering. Springer (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  17. Tempero, E., Anslow, C., Dietrich, J., Han, T., Li, J., Lumpe, M., Melton, H., Noble, J.: Qualitas corpus: A curated collection of java code for empirical studies. In: 2010 Asia Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC 2010), pp. 336–345, December 2010

    Google Scholar 

  18. Bruneton, E., Lenglet, R., Coupaye, T.: ASM: A code manipulation tool to implement adaptable systems. In: Adaptable and Extensible Component Systems, Grenoble, France, November 2002

    Google Scholar 

  19. Wong, K.: Rigi Users Manual. Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, July 1996.

  20. Reichardt, J., Bornholdt, S.: Statistical mechanics of community detection. Physical Review E 74(1), 016110 (2006)

    Article  MathSciNet  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Klaus Marius Hansen .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland

About this paper

Cite this paper

Hansen, K.M., Manikas, K. (2015). (Automated) Software Modularization Using Community Detection. In: Weyns, D., Mirandola, R., Crnkovic, I. (eds) Software Architecture. ECSA 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 9278. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-23726-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-23727-5

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics