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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Mark Harman. The objective of the International Conference on Software Process and Product Measurement Mensura is to bring to light the most recent findings and results in the area of software measurement and to stimulate discussion between researchers and professionals.

The conference included top keynote speakers in the field of software measurement: Dr. We would like to thank the many people who have brought this International Conference into being: the Organizing Committee, the International Program Committee and the additional reviewers, particularly for all their hard work in reviewing both the abstracts and the final papers.

Dolado, Spain Reiner R. Abdi and H. Donyaee, A. Seffah and J. Throughout these analyses some gaps are identified which need to be addressed for software measurement to mature. In the software engineering literature, the term is applied, for instance, to a measure of a concept e. McCabe cyclomatic complexity , to quality models ISO — software product quality and to estimation models e.

This has led to many curious problems, among them a proliferation of numerous publications on metrics for concepts of interest, but with a very low rate of acceptance and use by either researchers or practitioners, as well as a lack of consensus on how to validate so many proposals.

The inventory of software metrics is at the present time so diversified and includes so many individual proposals that it is not seen to be economically feasible for either industry or the research community to investigate each of the hundreds of alternatives proposed to date. However, while relevant, 'measurement theory' deals with only a subset of the classical set of concepts of measurement; 'software metrics' researchers, by focusing solely on measurement theory, have investigated mainly the representation conditions, the mathematical properties of the manipulation of numbers and the proper conditions for such manipulations [FENT97, ZUSE97].

Only recently has some of the metrology related concepts been introduced in the ISO software engineering standards community. Is software measurement itself a mature tool set and can metrology help to investigate this research topic? A discussion is presented in section 6. Measurement in these other sciences is based on a large body of knowledge; such a body of knowledge, built up over centuries and millennia, is commonly referred to as the field of 'metrology'.

This domain is supported by government metrology agencies, which are to be found in most industrially advanced countries. While this key ISO document is widely known in the field of metrology, it is almost unknown in the 'software metrics' community.

This ISO VIM follows some of the concepts of the traditional presentation of vocabularies, with terms described individually in textual descriptions. However, this mode of representation is challenging in terms of assembling the full set of interrelated terms; to improve the presentation and the understanding of this complex set of interrelated concepts, we presented in [ABRA02a] an initial set of models for the various levels of metrology concepts within the ISO Vocabulary.

A Roadmap to Maturity for Software Measures 3 The high-level model of the set of categories of terms is presented in Figure 1. This model, together with some sub-models presented later on, corresponds to our current understanding of the topology integrated into the vocabulary of this specialized area of the body of knowledge relating to metrology.

To represent the relationships across the terms, the classical representation of a production process was selected: e. This set of concepts represents the 'measuring instrument'. It is to be noted that the measurement operations, and, of course, the measurement results, are influenced by the 'characteristics' of the measuring instruments.

In the VIM, the term 'measurements' used as a single term corresponds to the 'set of operations' used for measuring. M e a s u r in g in s t r u m e n t s M e a s u re m e n t In p u t M e a s u re m e n ts R e s u lts Q u a n t it ie s E ta lo n s C h a r a c t e r is t ic s a n d u n it s o f m e a s u r in g in s t r u m e n ts Figure 1: Model of the categories of metrology terms [ABRA02a] The term 'metrology' includes all aspects of measurement theoretical and practical , collectively referred to in the metrology literature as the science of measurement Figure 2.

Metrology encompasses the 'principles of measurement', which represent the scientific basis for measurement. From the principles of measurement, the 'method of measurement' in the general sense is then instantiated by a measurement as a set of operations.

Figure 2 depicts this hierarchy of concepts. The detailed topology of the measurement process is instantiated next in a 'measurement procedure' Figure 3 , again as a process model having the 'measurand' as its inputs, control variables and an output representing the 'measurement results'.

To carry out a measurement exercise, an operator should design and follow a 'measurement procedure' which consists of a set of operations, specifically described, for the performance of a particular measurement according to a given measurement method.

The instantiation of a measurement procedure handles a 'measurement signal' and produces a transformed value, which represents a given measurand. The category 'measurement results' is presented next in the form of a structured table according to the types of measurement results, the modes of verification of the measurement results and information about the uncertainty of measurement — Table 1.

Carnahan et al. Moreover, Gray [GRAY99] discusses the applicability of metrology to information technology from the software measurement point of view. Moreover, Sellami and Abran [SELA03] have investigated the contribution of metrology concepts to understanding and clarifying the framework for software measurement validation proposed by Kitchenham et al.

The first type of measurement methods tackled at the ISO level were the functional size measurement methods with the publication of ISO meta-standards on functional size measurement [ISO ], dealing with some of the design issues of measurement method: 1. Part 1 of dealing with the ISO definitions of concepts for functional size measurement.

Part 2 of dealing with conformity assessment of the design of proposed functional size methods. Part 3 of ISO dealing with the verification criteria of a functional size method to assist measurements users in selecting the methods most appropriate to their needs.

Part 4 of ISO providing a large set of functional user requirements against which candidate measurement methods can be tested. Part 5 of ISO providing users with the information for analyzing which measurement method is most appropriate to the functional domain of the software to be measured.

Part 6 of ISO providing users with the information for selecting a specific measurement method according to their needs. Many of the metrology related concepts have already been integrated into the design of the COSMIC method ISO , with particular attention paid to the characterization of the concept being measured, to the selected meta-model of the functionality, and to the units and quantities in the definition of the numerical assignment rules.

The ISO series of documents on software product quality evaluation proposes a set of metrics 3 for measuring the various characteristics and subcharacteristics of software quality.

However, as is typical in the software engineering literature, the set of so-called metrics in ISO refers to multiple distinct concepts. To help in understanding and clarifying the nature of the metrics proposed in ISO TR , each was analyzed from a metrology perspective and mapped to the relevant metrology concepts. Such an evaluation approach also contributes to identifying the measurement concepts that have not yet been tackled in the ISO series of documents.

Each of these gaps represents an opportunity for improvement in the design and documentation of the measures proposed in ISO The SWEBOK Knowledge Area editors were expected to adopt the position that the measurement 'theme' is common across all Knowledge Areas, and therefore had to be incorporated into the proposed breakdown of topics in each Knowledge Area.

Since the acceptance criterion for inclusion in Guide to the SWEBOK was 'generally accepted', it is important to ask what did in fact gain an approval on a consensual basis with respect to measurement, and what can be learned from this consensus, or the lack of it.

It is worth reminding that the 'generally accepted' definition adopted in SWEBOK originates from the Project Management Institute PMI , that is: 'applies to most of the projects, most of the time, and widespread consensus validates its value and effectiveness'. Significant variations were found in the authors' approaches as well as the use of similar terms by these authors, but with very significant differences in the related concepts.

To clarify the confusion due to the inconsistent terminology used by these authors, a broader measurement process model was proposed Figure 4 identifying 4 distinct steps, from the design of a measurement method to the exploitation of the measurement results [JACQ97, 99]. Then, the approaches of the various authors, as well as the validation concepts that were being addressed differently by these authors, were sorted out depending on whether or not they were addressing validation issues related to Steps 1 to 4 of the process model in Figure 4.

This is illustrated in Table 2, which depicts a partial mapping between Figures 1 and 4: for instance, for the design of a measurement method, the Abran and Jacquet model includes more concepts than simply 'quantities and units'. The results of the analysis of the presence of metrology concepts within each KA are presented in Table 3.

Using a detailed inventory of the measurement-related statements appearing in the ten SWEBOK chapters, these statements were analyzed in terms of measurement concepts, and then mapped into both the set of metrology concepts presented in Section 2 and to the measurement process model presented in 4.

From Table 3, it can be observed that a large majority of the measurement-related concepts mentioned in SWEBOK are listed in the category of concepts related to the exploitation of the measurement results.

Very few SWEBOK statements directly address the measuring instrument or the quality of the direct measurement results prior to their use in quantitative analytical models assessment models or predictive models. And only one measurement related statement in the Software Quality chapter addresses a single aspect of the design of measurement instrument, and only through a subset of the metrology concepts of quantities and units.

This does not mean that such other types of measurement knowledge do not exist in the literature, but rather that there is not yet a wide consensus on their value and effectiveness and their generalization power outside of the initial context of operations. It also points out to a significant lack software measurement methods with enough strengths as measurement instruments and meeting the metrology criteria for quality of measuring instruments. Table 3 also points out to a lack of widely recognized and validated quantitative data to support yet the quality expected from an engineering viewpoint for the software engineering topics described.

This, of course, corresponds to a lack of recognized references to other measurement concepts from the recognized body of knowledge on metrology. This is a clear indication that, when looked at from an engineering perspective, measurement in software engineering is far from being mature and that it currently constitutes a fairly weak engineering foundation for the field of software engineering. Individual associate editors initially developed each of the 10 Knowledge Areas on their own, and even though a large number of reviewers contributed in the numerous reviews, this still led to different levels of breadth and depth of treatment of subtopics like measurement: therefore, measurement-related knowledge has not been developed equally across Knowledge Areas.

This proposal is shown in Fig. These references have been grouped in three types: - International standards ISO, IEEE or other standards organizations : These are based on international consensus by either technical experts or ISO- recognized voting countries, or both.

A book also contains a number of chapters, each of which could be based on a different type or types of empirical support. To reach a point where this measurement body of knowledge would be recognized as generally accepted in the broader software engineering community, it is mentioned in [BUGL05] that further steps are required to get this measurement taxonomy validated by peers in the software engineering measurement community. While this field of 'software metrics' has most often been discussed from the perspective referred to as 'measurement theory', in other disciplines, however, it is the domain of knowledge referred to as 'metrology' that is the foundation for the development and use of measurement instruments and measurement processes.

But, is software measurement already a mature tool set? In this paper, we have identified analytical tools to investigate the state of the art of measurement in software engineering, focusing on the set of metrology concepts. Both our initial modeling of the sets of measurement concepts documented in the ISO International Vocabulary of Basic and General Terms in Metrology and our measurement process model were used to survey, and position, the measurement- related statements in the Guide to the Software Engineering Body of Knowledge.

This has revealed that, even though measurement-related statements appear throughout the SWEBOK document, they overwhelmingly concern the use of measurement results in assessment and predictive models. By contrast, there is in this document very little widely recognized validated knowledge from an engineering perspective, little on the quality of the quantitative inputs to these models, and almost nothing on supporting measuring instruments necessary to obtain these inputs. Similarly, in the software engineering literature, even though there is a large number of 'metrics' proposed, there is still very little discussion on the topic of measuring instruments so overwhelmingly present in the traditional engineering disciplines.

This also illustrates that most of the metrology concepts, and sub-concepts, have not yet been discussed or addressed to a significant extent in the 'software metrics' literature. In the context where measuring instruments are necessary key elements of empirical studies, this points to a potentially significant weakness in current empirical studies in software engineering, while at the same time providing an indication of where metrology-related improvements in software measurement could contribute significantly to strengthening future empirical studies in software engineering.

This analysis from the metrology perspective suggests that the field of software measurement has not yet been fully addressed by current research, and that much work remains to be done to support software engineering as an engineering discipline based on quantitative data and adequate measurement methods meeting the classic set of criteria for measuring instruments as described by the metrology body of knowledge in large use in the engineering disciplines.

Abran and J. Abran and A. Abran, J. Moore, P. Bourque, R. Dupuis, and L. ISSN: Fenton and S. SBSE uses a variety of techniques from the metaheuristic search, operations research and evolutionary computation paradigms. As a result, human effort moves up the abstraction chain, focusing on defining the fitness function that guides the automated search, rather than performing such a search manually.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Mark Harman. The objective of the International Conference on Software Process and Product Measurement Mensura is to bring to light the most recent findings and results in the area of software measurement and to stimulate discussion between researchers and professionals.

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