AuthorsA. F. Yamashita, B. C. D. Anda, D. I. K. SjĂžberg, H. C. Benestad, P. E. Arnstad, and L. Moonen
EditorsJ. Miller, and R. Selby
TitleUsing Concept Mapping for Maintainability Assessments
AfilliationSoftware Engineering, Software Engineering
Publication TypeProceedings, refereed
Year of Publication2009
Conference Name3rd IEEE International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement (ESEM)
Date PublishedOctober 2009
ISBN Number10.1109/ESEM.2009.5316044

Many important phenomena within software engineering are difficult to define and measure. A good example is software maintainability, which has been the subject of considerable research and is believed to be a critical determinant of total software costs. Yet, there is no common agreement on how to describe and measure software maintainability in a concrete setting. We propose using concept mapping, a well-grounded method used in social research, to operationalize this concept according to a given goal and perspective. We apply this method to describe four systems that were developed as part of an industrial multiple-case study. The outcome is a conceptual map that displays an arrangement of maintainability constructs, their interrelations and corresponding measures. Our experience is that concept mapping (1) provides a structured way of combining static code analysis and expert judgment; (2) helps tailoring the choice of measures to a particular system context; and (3) supports the mapping between software measures and aspects of software maintainability. As such, it represents a strong addition to existing frameworks for evaluating quality such as ISO/IEC 9126 and GQM, and tools for static measurement of software code. Overall, we find that concept mapping provides a systematic, structured and repeatable method for developing constructs and measures of the phenomenon of interest, and we deem it useful for defining constructs and measures of other aspects of software engineering, in addition to maintainability.

Citation KeySimula.SE.617