importance of measuring software complexity

complexity (Programming
complexity) refers to number of pieces of properties in software, altogether
which will affect internal interactions. Complexity describes about the
interactions between many entities. When the number of entities increases
drastically, the number of interactions between them would increase altogether
and it would lead to a point where it would be impossible to know and understand
all of them. Similarly higher the complexity in ongoing software it also
increases the danger of unintentional interfering with interactions and so
increases the chances of errors when making modifications. As a result various
matrices were implemented over the years to overcome complexity issues.

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software metrics are implemented to introduce objective measurements that are
used for management, performance, quality assurance, and debugging, estimating
costs, predicting project success, defects in codes, predicting defective code,
and predicting project risks.

The various metrics proposed over the
years and the problems of them.

Cyclomatic complexity: this is a software
metrics used to show the complexity of an application program. Through a
program’s source code a quantitative measurement of numbers in linearly
independent paths.

Halstead complexity measures are software
metrics introduced by Maurice Howard Halstead in 1977 as part
of his treatise on establishing an empirical science of software development. Halstead
made the observation that metrics of the software should reflect the
implementation or expression of algorithms in different languages, but be
independent of their execution on a specific platform. These metrics are
therefore computed statically from the code.

However these older complexity measuring matrices have
fallbacks and disadvantages comparing to the matric we are implementing.

The time to conclude a systems complexity will be high
with the above mentioned matrices.

Duplicate and unwanted comments will be added to the
comments repeatedly.

High coloration within the size of the program

The percentage used as comments, number of inputs and
outputs and number of functions are not measured with the Halstead complexity and Cyclomatic complexity matrices.

Very difficult to understand and implement these matrices




How the new metric overcome the problems that exist in previously
proposed metrics.


The time to
conclude the system complexity is reduced within out matrix as we have excluded
all unwanted measurements like in older systems.

Easier to
understand and easier to maintain.

Duplicate and unwanted comments will be added to the
comments repeatedly.

The percentage used as comments, number of inputs and
outputs and number of functions complexity measurements are included in our
metrics rather than the Halstead
complexity and Cyclomatic complexity matrices


Previously we conceded about the various metrics. There were
many complexity factors used.


Direct measurement.



Indirect / derived measurement.






Using these complexity factors we can make a good
metric. We did a survey using a google form and get information from the IT
professionals. The factors we categorized into five parts and we want to know
the weight for the each factor. Using all the results implement the new metric.
The factors are given below.


Commented percentage.

Cohesions & couplings.

Fan in & Fan out.

Number of functions.

Number of inputs & outputs.




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