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Using Software Readability for Software Maintainability: A Case Study on Unified Code Count
University of Southern California (USC) maintains Unified Code Count (UCC), a data analysis tool that provides SLOC counting metrics for about 30 programming languages, such as logical SLOC and cyclomatic complexity. UCC has a unique development environment with high personnel turnover every 4 months. Highly maintainable code becomes desirable, to allow new developers to quickly learn the existing code, and modify or improve the system. Many automated analysis metrics exist that can help developers measure and analyze the maintainability level of a project objectively, such as Maintainability Index. However, we found that those metrics do not reflect UCC's maintainability level accurately. In this paper, we define a series of metrics to characterize code readability and propose a novel method for measuring maintainability for UCC. We apply the method to analyze the maintainability level through analyzing UCC's existing source code.
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Celia Chen (Primary Presenter,Author), University of Southern California, email@example.com;
Celia is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Center for Systems and Software Engineering at University of Southern California (USC). She holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from USC and a B.A. in Computer Science with minor in Mathematics from Indiana University.
Anandi Hira (Co-Presenter,Co-Author), University of Southern California, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Anandi Hira is currently a PhD student under Dr. Barry Boehm at University of Southern California’s (USC) Computer Science Department. Her research interests lie in cost estimation and models. She has been a part of the Unified Code Count (UCC) development effort at USC's Center for Systems and Software Engineering (CSSE) for the past 6 years, and has been collecting and analyzing the data to improve the development processes and the product’s quality. Anandi has also joined the effort within USC's CSSE to develop COCOMO® III (COnstructive COst MOdel) as an update from COCOMO® II.
Barry Boehm (Co-Author), USC, email@example.com;
Dr. Barry Boehm is the TRW Professor in the USC Computer Sciences, Industrial and Systems Engineering, and Astronautics Departments. He is also the Director of Research of the DoD-Stevens-USC Systems Engineering Research Center, and the founding Director of the USC Center for Systems and Software Engineering. He was director of DARPA-ISTO 1989-92, at TRW 1973-89, at Rand Corporation 1959-73, and at General Dynamics 1955-59. His contributions include the COCOMO family of cost models and the Spiral family of process models. He is a Fellow of the primary professional societies in computing (ACM), aerospace (AIAA), electronics (IEEE), and systems engineering (INCOSE), and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.