A Cost Model Based on Software Maintainability


In this paper we present a maintainability based model for estimating the costs of developing source code in its evolution phase. Our model adopts the concept of entropy in thermodynamics, which is used to measure the disorder of a system. In our model, we use maintainability for measuring disorder (i.e. entropy) of the source code of a software system. We evaluated our model on three proprietary and two open source real world software systems implemented in Java, and found that the maintainability of these evolving software is decreasing over time. Furthermore, maintainability and development costs are in exponential relationship with each other. We also found that our model is able to predict future development costs with high accuracy in these systems.

Proceedings of the 28th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2012), Riva del Garda, Trento, Italy, Pages 316–325


    author    = {Bakota, Tibor and Heged\H{u}s, P{\'e}ter and Lad{\'a}nyi, Gergely and K\"ortv\'elyesi, P\'eter and Ferenc, Rudolf and Gyim{\'o}thy, Tibor},
    title     = {A Cost Model Based on Software Maintainability},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the 28th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2012)},
    year      = {2012},
    pages     = {316--325},
    address   = {Riva del Garda, Trento, Italy},
    month     = sep,
    publisher = {IEEE Computer Society},
    doi       = {10.1109/ICSM.2012.6405288},
    keywords  = {Software maintainability, development cost estimation, cost prediction model, ISO/IEC 9126, ISO/IEC 25000},
    url       = {http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/6405288/},