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A proposed software maintenance metric for the object oriented programming paradigm
Software complexity metries have long been used in the procedural programming
paradigm. Existing OOP metrics do not address how a class's relation to other classes in
the inheritance hierarchy affect it's maintenance needs. This research proposes a new OOP
metric, Hierarchy Corrected Metric (HCM) that does address a class's relation to others in
the hierarchy. HCM uses the values of the standard OOP metrics for each class plus
knowledge of the class inheritance hierarchy to anive at a revised complexity
measurement for each class. That measurement reflects not only internal complexity for
the class but also the influence of other classes in the hierarchy to the complexity of the
class. Using data from a commercial system HCM was shown to correlate with
maintenance better than existing OOP metrics.