Performance comparison of software complexity metrics in an open source project

Min Zhang, N. Baddoo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


Software complexity measures are essential aspects of software engineering. Relatively few studies have been conducted to compare the performance of different complexity metrics. This paper describes an experimental investigation, which compares the performance of three different software complexity metrics; McCabe's cyclomatic complexity, Halstead's complexity measures and Douce's spatial complexity, by using data from an Open Source project Eclipse JDT. The results of this investigation indicate that in different situation these complexity metrics show different performance. However, Halstead's effort measure and Douce's spatial complexity are highly correlated, showing bigger correlation coefficient values. This leads us to suggest that because Halstead's complexity measure is more mature and has better supporting tools, it may be a good idea to replace Douce's spatial complexity metric with Halstead's effort measure in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Process Improvement
EditorsP. Abrahamsson, N. Baddoo, T. Margaria, R. Messnarz
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-74765-9
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event14th European Conference on Software Process Improvement - Potsdam, Germany
Duration: 26 Sept 200728 Sept 2007

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science


Conference14th European Conference on Software Process Improvement




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