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Object Oriented Metrics in Software Engineering

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  • Last Updated : 20 Aug, 2022
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These are used to determine success or failure of a person also to quantify the improvements in the software throughout its process. These metrics can be used to reinforce good OO programming technique which lead to more reliable code. Object-oriented software engineering metrics are units of measurement that are used to characterize:

  • object-oriented software engineering products, e.g., designs source code, and the test cases.
  • object-oriented software engineering processes, e.g., designing and coding.
  • object-oriented software engineering people, e.g., productivity of an individual designer.

Why are Object-Oriented Software Engineering Metrics Different?

OOSE is different because of the following reasons as depicted in the following figure:

Localization : It is the process of placing items in close physical nearness to each other.

  • Functional decomposition processes localize information around functions.
  • Data-driven approaches localize information around data.
  • Object-oriented approaches localize information around objects.

In object-oriented software , from the name suggests the localization is based on objects. This means:

  • Although we may speak of the functionality provided by an object, atleast some of our metrics identification and gathering effort must recognize the “object” as basic unit of software.
  • Within systems of objects, localization between functionality and objects is not one-to-one relationships. For example, there are many objects for one function and also one object can have many functions.

Encapsulation : It is the packaging of a collection of items.

  • Low-level examples of encapsulation include records and arrays.
  • Subprograms are mid level mechanisms for encapsulation.
  • There are still very long encapsulation mechanisms for the object-oriented programming languages, e.g., C++’s, classes, Ada’s packages, and Modula 3’s modules.
  • Objects encapsulates:
    • Knowledge of state
    • Advertised capabilities
    • Other objects
    • Exceptions
    • Constants
    • Concepts

Information Hiding: It is the suppression or hiding of the objects.

  • We show only the information which is needed to accomplish our goals.
  • Degree of information hiding ranges from partially restricted visibility to total invisibility.
  • Encapsulation and information hiding are not same thing e.g., an item can be encapsulated but still be to totally visible.

It plays a direct role in such metrics as object coupling and the degree of information hiding.

Inheritance: It is mechanism where one object acquires the characteristics from one, or more , other objects.

  • Some object-oriented languages support only single inheritance.
  • Some object-oriented languages support only multiple inheritance.
  • Inheritance type and their semantics vary from language to language.

There are many object-oriented software engineering metrics which are based on inheritance e.g.,

  • number of children
  • number of parents
  • class hierarchy nesting level

Abstraction: It is the mechanism where we focus only on important details of a concept, while ignoring the in essential details.

  • It is a relative concept.
  • There are also different categories of abstraction, e.g., functional data, process and object abstraction.
  • Objects are treated as high-level entities in object abstraction.

Classes: There are three commonly used views on the definition for “class”.

  • Class as a cookie cutter: For the structurally identically items, a class is a pattern, template, or a blueprint. The items which can be created using class are called instances.
  • Class as an instance factory: Basically class is a thing which contains both a pattern and a mechanism for creating items based on that pattern and instances are like individual items that are “manufactured” by using class creation mechanism.
  • A class is a set of all the items which are created using a specific pattern, i.e., the class is the set of all instances of that pattern.
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