Browse Prior Art Database

Software Design Assessment Program

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000052013D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cruickshank, RD: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

A computer program to assess the characteristics of a software design, referred to herein as the Software Development Process Controller (SDPC), takes certain measurements of a software design and, based on these measurements, makes recommendations for improving the design. The measurements referred to are counts of certain characteristics of a software design which has been written in a design language such as "Structured Narrative" or PDL (Process Design Language).

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Software Design Assessment Program

A computer program to assess the characteristics of a software design, referred to herein as the Software Development Process Controller (SDPC), takes certain measurements of a software design and, based on these measurements, makes recommendations for improving the design. The measurements referred to are counts of certain characteristics of a software design which has been written in a design language such as "Structured Narrative" or PDL (Process Design Language).

The SPDC scans text, counts predetermined characteristics of the design, calculates measurements (called metrics) from the counts, and indicates recommendations for improving the software design based on the quantitative size of the computed metrics. The process of scanning, counting, computation, and evaluation can be repeated with successive versions of the software design (as modified by the designer). This repetition can be continued until the design is evaluated to be adequate or within tolerance, as indicated by the values of the computed metrics. The counts, the values of the metrics and the associated evaluation and recommendations can be indicated to the user by a printout or by display indicators.

Some of the metrics determined by the SDPC are:

1. Relative Complexity - The complexity of the software design is proportional to the number of decisions indicated in the design. Decisions in the design logic are indicated by the number of 'IF' and 'PART' statements, where the 'PART' statement comes from the 'CASE' branching structure. The complexity metric is relative to the total number of design language statements, i.e., the number of source lines of design (SLOD). The relative complexity metric is computed as: C(R) =1-I/D. where I is the count of 'IF' and 'PART' statements and D is the total number of source...