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A Suite of Metrics for Calculating the Most Significant Security Relevant Software Flaw Types



Peter M. Mell, Assane Gueye


The Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE) is a prominent list of software weakness types. This list is used by vulnerability databases to describe the underlying security flaws within analyzed vulnerabilities. This linkage opens the possibility of using the analysis of software vulnerabilities to identify the most significant weaknesses that enable those vulnerabilities. We accomplish this through creating mashup views combining CWE weakness taxonomies with vulnerability analysis data. The resulting graphs have CWEs as nodes, edges derived from multiple CWE taxonomies, and nodes adorned with vulnerability analysis information (propagated from children to parents). Using these graphs, we develop a suite of metrics to identify the most significant weakness types (using the perspectives of frequency, impact, exploitability, and overall severity).
Proceedings Title
Conference Dates
July 13-17, 2020
Conference Location
Conference Title
2020 IEEE 44th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference (COMPSAC)


Metrics, Software flaws, Vulnerabilities


Mell, P. and Gueye, A. (2020), A Suite of Metrics for Calculating the Most Significant Security Relevant Software Flaw Types, COMPSAC 2020, Madrid, -1, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created July 12, 2020, Updated July 30, 2020