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Theoretical Analysis of the Effect of Accounting for Special Methods in Similarity-Based Cohesion Measurement

Authors: Jehad Al Dallal


Class cohesion is an important object-oriented software quality attributes, and it refers to the degree of relatedness of class attributes and methods. Several class cohesion measures are proposed in the literature, and the impact of considering the special methods (i.e., constructors, destructors, and access and delegation methods) in cohesion calculation is not thoroughly theoretically studied for most of them. In this paper, we address this issue for three popular similarity-based class cohesion measures. For each of the considered measures we theoretically study the impact of including or excluding special methods on the values that are obtained by applying the measure. This study is based on analyzing the definitions and formulas that are proposed for the measures. The results show that including/excluding special methods has a considerable effect on the obtained cohesion values and that this effect varies from one measure to another. The study shows the importance of considering the types of methods that have to be accounted for when proposing a similarity-based cohesion measure.

Keywords: software quality, object-oriented class, class cohesion measure, class cohesion, special methods

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