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Lines of Code (LOC) in Software Engineering

  • Last Updated : 26 Apr, 2021

A line of code (LOC) is any line of text in a code that is not a comment or blank line, in any case of the number of statements or fragments of statements on the line. LOC clearly consists of all lines containing program header files, declaration of any variable, and executable and non-executable statements. As Lines of Code (LOC) only counts the volume of code, you can only use it to compare or estimate projects that use the same language and are coded using the same coding standards. 

Features :

  • Variations such as “source lines of code”, are used to set out a codebase.
  • LOC is frequently used in some kinds of arguments.
  • They are used in assessing a project’s performance or efficiency.

Advantages :

  • Most used metric in cost estimation.
  • Its alternates have many problems as compared to this metric.
  • It is very easy in estimating the efforts.

Disadvantages : 

  • Increases productivity while writing more lines of code.
  • Less efficient code.
  • It doesn’t consider complexity.

Researches have shown a rough correlation between LOC and the overall cost and length of developing a project/ product in Software Development, and between LOC and the number of defects. This means the lower your LOC measurement is, the better off you probably are in the development of your product.



Let’s take an example and check that how does the Line of code work in the simple sorting program given below:

C++




void selSort(int x[], int n) {
  //Below function sorts an array in ascending order 
   int i, j, min, temp;
   for (i = 0; i < n - 1; i++) {
      min = i;
      for (j = i + 1; j < n; j++)
      if (x[j] < x[min])
      min = j;
      temp = x[i];
      x[i] = x[min];
      x[min] = temp;
   }
}

So, now If LOC is simply a count of the numbers of lines then the above function shown contains 13 lines of code (LOC). But when comments and blank lines are ignored, the function shown above contains 12 lines of code (LOC).

Let’s take another example and check that how does the Line of code work in the given below:

C++




void main()
{
    int fN, sN, tN;
    cout << "Enter the 2 integers: ";
    cin >> fN >> sN;
    // sum of two numbers in stored in variable sum
    sum = fN + sN;
    // Prints sum 
    cout << fN << " + " <<  sN << " = " << sum;     
    return 0;
}

Here also, If LOC is simply a count of the numbers of lines then the above function shown contains 11 lines of code (LOC). But when comments and blank lines are ignored, the function shown above contains 9 lines of code (LOC).

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