An object-oriented design complexity metric based on inheritance relationships

Timothy K. Shih, Yule Chyun Lin, Wen C. Pai, Chun Chia Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Software metrics serve as a significant issue to improve software quality. It is an important research of software engineering. In line with the methodologies of object-oriented analysis and design widely developed, many software metrics techniques have been proposed. However, not many focus on the metrics evaluation of an inheritance hierarchy. In this paper, we propose a novel concept named unit repeated inheritance (URI) in Z notation to realize object-oriented software metrics. The approach describes an inheritance level technique (ILT) method as a guide to measure the software complexity of an inheritance hierarchy. The measures of inheritance metrics are formed based on the proposed mechanism. Also, we use Lex and Yacc to construct a windowing tool which is used in conjunction with a conventional C++ programming environment to assist a programmer to analyze and measure his/her C++ programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-566
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998


  • C++ programming language
  • Inheritance hierarchy
  • Object-oriented programming
  • Software engineering
  • Software metrics
  • Z notation


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