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 SWE 469: Software Metrics

Course Information

Class/Laboratory Schedule: 

3 lectures per week, 50 minutes each (3-0-3)

Designation:   Elective Course

Course Level:   Undergraduate


Prerequisite(s) by Topic: 

  • STAT 319

Prerequisite Courses: 

Catalog Description: 

Overview of software metrics, basics of measurement theory, goal-based framework for software measurement, empirical investigation in software engineering. Measuring internal product attributes, measuring external product attributes, measuring cost and effort, measuring software reliability, software test metrics, and object-oriented metrics.


N. Fenton and S. Pfleeger, Software Metrics: A Rigorous & Practical Approach, 2nd ed: PWS Publishing Company, 1997

Reference(s) and Other Material: 

  • Stephen H. Kan, Metrics and Models in Software Quality Engineering, 2nd ed., Addison-Wesley, 2002.
  • M. Lorenz and J. Kidd, Object-Oriented Software Metrics: Prentice Hall, 1994.

Course Outcomes: 

Upon completion of this course, students will have the ability to:

  • Understand the basic metrics and measurement theory and terminology.
  • Select software metrics based on goals.
  • Design and tailor the selected metrics to match your information needs.
  • Determine what data to collect and who should collect it.
  • Interpret and communicate metric results.
Topics Covered: 

  • Overview of software metrics
  • What is measurement?
  • What are software metrics?
  • The basics of measurement
  • Meaningfulness in measurement
  • Measurement quality
  • Measurement process
  • Scale
  • Measurement validation
  • Goal-based framework for software measurement
  • Software measure classification
  • Goal-Question-Metrics (GQM)
  • Applications of GQM
  • Case studies
  • Empirical investigation
  • Software engineering investigation
  • Investigation principles
  • Investigation techniques
  • Formal experiments
  • Guidelines for empirical research
  • Measuring internal product attributes: size
  • Software size
  • Software Size: Length (code, specification, design)
  • Software Size: Reuse
  • Software Size: Functionality (function point, feature point, object point,
  • se-case point)
  • Software Size: Complexity
  • Measuring internal product attributes: structure
  • Software structural measurement
  • Control-flow structure
  • Cyclomatic complexity
  • Data flow and data structure attributes
  • Architectural measurement
  • Measuring cost and effort
  • Software cost model
  • Constraint model
  • Software Lifecycle Management (SLIM)
  • Cost models: advantages and drawbacks
  • Measuring external product attributes: quality
  • Software quality
  • Software quality models
  • Basic software quality metrics
  • Software Quality Assurance (SQA)
  • Measuring software reliability
  • Reliability concepts and definitions
  • Software reliability models and metrics
  • Software test metrics
  • Estimating number of test case
  • Allocating test times
  • Decisions based on testing
  • Test coverage measurement
  • Software testability measurement
  • Remaining defects measurement
  • Object-oriented metrics
  • Object-Oriented measurement concepts
  • Basic metrics for OO systems
  • OO analysis and design metrics
  • Metrics for productivity measurement
  • Metrics for OO software quality​