A Quantitative Study for the Characterization of Internal Quality of Open-Source Object-Oriented Software

Mariana de Azevedo SantosPaulo Henrique de Souza BermejoHeitor Costa

Although it is necessary, activities regarding quality assurance and maintenance of software are considered the longest and most complex in software development lifecycle. Taking advantage of this growing trend and of the benefits obtained from open-source initiative, researches on open-source software quality and maintainability have gained renewed interest. The use of robust statistical techniques, such as PLS-SEM to investigate and empirically validate software quality models has also been an efficient alternative to obtain information on open-source software quality. The aim of this study was evaluate and build a conceptual model to characterize the internal quality in Java open-source software in different domains, validated with the PLS-SEM technique. The study results indicate that there are domains with similarities among them and four factors can influence the internal quality of objectoriented software to present better maintainability (Complexity Reduce, Normalized Cohesion, Non-normalized Cohesion, and Increase of the Modularity Level). Besides, we identified some measures are more effective to evaluate internal quality in object-oriented open-source, such as, Fan-out (FOUT), Lack of Cohesion of Methods 2 (LCOM2), Response for Class (RFC), Tight Class Cohesion (TCC), and Loose Class Cohesion (LCC). Thus, this study aims at supporting software engineers and project managers to develop measurement strategies to ensure internal quality of source code and reduce maintenance costs.

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