ISR Distinguished Speaker

Arie van Deursen

Professor, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
“Who is Afraid of Change: On the use of Metrics to Assess Software Evolvability”
Friday, March 15, 2013 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm

Check out Arie van Deursen's blog about this talk.

Faculty Host: 

Email RSVP required to by Monday, March 11.

Donald Bren Hall (building #314), room 6011

No cost to attend.


Click here for directions and parking information.


Can we measure software quality? Can we measure architectural quality? Are there metrics that could be used to measure architectural quality? Are such metrics actually useful? How should we evaluate the validity of such architectural metrics?

In this presentation we seek to answer questions like these. We will sketch a common setting in practice in which management needs insight in the maintainability of a system under development. We will then explore the role metrics can play to in such a setting, what their inherent limitations are, how they can be mapped to quality models (such as ISO25010), and how benchmarking can be applied to determine thresholds to identify risks.

In particular we will zoom in on metrics for analyzability and encapsulation at the level of software architecture. To evaluate these metrics, we describe two studies. One involves repository mining, in which we compare metric values to locality of change in a series of subsequent versions for ten open source systems. In the second, we evaluate the usefulness of these metrics by collecting experience about their use in practice over a six month period, including interviews with 11 consultants.

This presentation is based on joint work with Eric Bouwers (SIG, Amsterdam) and Joost Visser (SIG, Amsterdam, and Radbout University Nijmegen).

About the Speaker: 

Arie van Deursen is a professor at Delft University of Technology, where he heads the Software Engineering Research Group. He received a PhD from the University of Amsterdam in 1994, and an MSc in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 1990.

His research interests include software architecture, software testing, and social aspects of software engineering.

 He has been program co-chair of the IEEE International Conference on Program Comprehension (ICPC 2012) and the New Ideas and Emerging Results (NIER) track of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013). He serves on the editorial board of Empirical Software Engineering, the ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology, and the Journal of Software: Evolution and Process.

 He has a keen interest in bridging the gap between software engineering research and practice. In 2000 he was co-founder of the Software Improvement Group (SIG), a consultancy firm in the area of software quality. You can follow him on Twitter as @avandeursen.