Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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Technical Report

Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models

  • Abstract

    Safety-critical systems, such as those used in the avionics, aerospace, medical, and automotive domains, are becoming more software reliant, and their size has increased enormously. These systems are becoming more complex, increasing certification costs. As certification is expensive and verification activities require significant manpower, this increasing complexity impacts the total cost of ownership. While part of the complexity is intrinsic to system functions and requirements, another part can be avoided. As software development is moving toward model-based approaches, reducing software model size and avoidable complexity would lower certification costs and reduce software maintenance efforts. This report defines software complexity, metrics for complexity in models, and the effects of model complexity on levels of effort in the development, integration, maintenance, and upgrade costs of a project lifecycle. It focuses on popular code metrics for models; their definition, measurement, and implications for development efforts; and techniques that have been used to reduce complexity, such as implementing a complexity measurement tool on a modeling tool. This report also presents an analysis tool that can be used to identify and measure complexity in a model-based development approach and explains how to apply the newly defined metrics.

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Cite This Report

SEI

Delange, Julien; McHale, James; Hudak, John; Nichols, William; & Nam, Min-Young. Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models. CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013. Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. 2015. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083

IEEE

Delange. Julien, McHale. James, Hudak. John, Nichols. William, and Nam. Min-Young, "Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013, 2015. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083

APA

Delange, Julien., McHale, James., Hudak, John., Nichols, William., & Nam, Min-Young. (2015). Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models (CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013). Retrieved February 21, 2018, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083

CHI

Julien Delange, James McHale, John Hudak, William Nichols, & Min-Young Nam. Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models (CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2015. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083

MLA

Delange, Julien., McHale, James., Hudak, John., Nichols, William., & Nam, Min-Young. 2015. Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083

BibTex

@techreport{DelangeEvaluatingand2015,
title={Evaluating and Mitigating the Impact of Complexity in Software Models},
author={Julien Delange and James McHale and John Hudak and William Nichols and Min-Young Nam},
year={2015},
number={CMU/SEI-2015-TR-013},
institution={Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University},
address={Pittsburgh, PA},
url={http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=448083} }