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What Happened to Software Metrics?



Jeffrey M. Voas, David R. Kuhn


In the 1980's, the software quality community was all 'a buzz' with seemingly endless 'potential' approaches for producing higher quality software. At the forefront of that was software metrics, along with the corresponding software testing techniques and tools and process improvement schemes that relied on the software metrics. We asked a panel of 7 software metrics experts 11 questions to help explain the last 40 years of software measurement and where they believe we stand today. Our experts are: (1) Taghi Khoshgoftaar (Florida Atlantic University), (2) Edward F. Miller (Software Research, Inc.), (3) Vic Basili (University of Maryland, retired), (4) Jim Bieman (Colorado State University), (5) Ram Chillarege (Chillarege, Inc.), (6) Adam Porter (Fraunhofer Institute), and (7) Alain Abran (University of Quebec). We did not ask rhetorical questions, but rather questions that we believe remain unanswered, and if answered, could form a foundation into improved or new software metrics and software measurement.
Computer (IEEE Computer)


software quality, software metrics, software testing, software testing tools, source lines of code, cyclomatic complexity, Halstead metric, software measurement


Voas, J. and Kuhn, D. (2017), What Happened to Software Metrics?, Computer (IEEE Computer), [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created May 25, 2017, Updated November 10, 2018