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Software Metrics: A Rigorous and Practical Approach [Paperback]

Norman E. Fenton , Shari Lawrence Pfleeger
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 1996 Computer Science
This new edition of this invaluable reference brings the coverage of software metrics fully up to date. The book has been rewritten and redesigned to take into account the fast changing developments in software metrics, most notably their widespread penetration into industrial practice. New sections deal with prcess maturity and measurement, goal-question-metric, metrics plans, experimentation, empirical studies, object-oriented metrics, and metrics tools. 88 line illustrations.

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Review

"I have been using this book as my primary reference on software metrics for over 20 years now. It still remains the best book by far on the science and practice of software metrics. This latest edition has some important updates, especially with the inclusion of material on Bayesian networks for prediction and risk assessment."
—Paul Krause, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

"Great introduction to software metrics, measurement, and experimentation. This will be a must-read for my software engineering students."
—Lukasz Radlinski, PhD, West Pomeranian University of Technology, Szczecin, Poland

"I have loved this book from the first edition and with each new edition it just keeps getting better and better. I use this book constantly in my software engineering research and always recommend it to students. It is so much more than a software metrics book; to me it is an essential companion to rigorous empirical software engineering."
—Dr. Tracy Hall, Department of Computer Science, Brunel University, Uxbridge, UK

"This new edition of Software Metrics succeeds admirably in bringing the field of software measurement up to date and in delivering a wider range of topics to its readers as compared to its previous edition. I have both reviewed and used the book in my software measurement courses and find it to be one of the most advanced and well structured on the market today, tailored for training software engineers in both theoretical and practical aspects of software measurement. I look forward to continuing the use of the book for teaching purposes and am very comfortable offering my recommendation for this book as a primary textbook for graduate or undergraduate courses on software measurement. Thank you again for providing such a quality book to our software engineering education programs."
—Olga Ormandjieva, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, Concordia University, Canada

"This book lucidly and diligently covers the nuts and bolts of software measurement. It is an excellent reference on software metric fundamentals, suitable as a comprehensive textbook for software engineering students and as a definitive manual for industry practitioners."
—Mohammad Alshayeb, Associate Professor of Software Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Norman Fenton is a professor of computer science at the Queen Mary University of London, UK

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger is a senior researcher at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete, wide in scope and essential July 1 2004
By Mike Tarrani TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I have a large number of metrics books, including everything written by Grady, Jones, and Florac & Carleton, and this is one of my personal favorites. It not only goes into measurement theory and practice, but covers nearly every key metric associated with software engineering.
Instead of writing a tome about what this book contains, I'll confine my comments to what I especially like about it and why.
First, the measurement fundamentals, the goal-based measurement framework, and information about data collection and management alone make this book worth owning. Data collection, for example, can waste resources if you try to collect everything, or worse, don't properly manage or analyze it. Follow the process given in the first part of this book and you'll have a solid basis for a metrics initiative.
Second, the scope of software engineering metrics is wide and given fairly detailed treatment. I especially like the fact that object-oriented metrics are addressed, and the multi-dimensional approach to measuring internal and external product attributes. Moreover, the scope of this book extends to productivity and resource management, which is where development projects and lifecycle costs associated with maintenance have gaps. Finally, the section on software reliability metrics was excellent and added yet another dimension to the coverage the authors give.
Overall, this book is both rigorous and practical as the title implies. The theory and practical applications of measurement and metrics are carefully balanced, and the breadth of material ensures that coverage is complete and addresses all major aspects of software engineering.
Was this review helpful to you?
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The structure of the book makes it difficult to read. It jumps from one type of metrics to another and then back again. The motivation for some of the metrics is not explained at all.
Considering the price you should get value on all pages. This book could have been one quarter of its size and you would not have lost anything.
This is far from a Practical Approach. At some places the authors seems more interested in taking down other researchers ideas than giving an objective view on, "what metrics is, how it can be used, when it is used, what you measure on".
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent survey and critique Oct. 8 1997
By Greg Wilson (gvwilson@interlog.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
(For the full text of this review, see <a href="[...] Dobbs Journal</a>) Software Metrics is not just a thorough, readable survey of the various proposals that have been made over the years for measuring the characteristics of programs; it is also a detailed critique of the sloppy way in which people have tried to use such measurements to predict how much effort would be required to develop and maintain software, and how reliable that software would be. The first part of Software Metrics introduces the fundamentals of measurement theory. What does it mean to measure something? What kinds of measures are there, and -- more importantly -- what kinds of conclusions can we draw from different kinds of measurements? The second part of the book looks at software measurement in particular. Popular measures (COCOMO, function points, cyclometric complexity, and the like) are all described, and their weaknesses pointed out. Again and again, the authors show that the proponents of various metrics have failed to validate their metrics in even the most basic ways... Part Three looks at implementing software measurement in the workplace, and includes an interesting discussion about the nature of empirical research in software engineering. The book closes with a comprehensive annotated bibliography. If you have ever thought about measuring the progress of a software project, or about trying to predict the effort required to develop or maintain a program, this book will tell you what is feasible, what is just hype, and how to tell the difference between the two.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Software Metrics: A Rigorous and Practical Approach, Revised Nov. 15 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The structure of the book makes it difficult to read. It jumps from one type of metrics to another and then back again. The motivation for some of the metrics is not explained at all.
Considering the price you should get value on all pages. This book could have been one quarter of its size and you would not have lost anything.
This is far from a Practical Approach. At some places the authors seems more interested in taking down other researchers ideas than giving an objective view on, "what metrics is, how it can be used, when it is used, what you measure on".
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete, wide in scope and essential July 1 2004
By Mike Tarrani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have a large number of metrics books, including everything written by Grady, Jones, and Florac & Carleton, and this is one of my personal favorites. It not only goes into measurement theory and practice, but covers nearly every key metric associated with software engineering.
Instead of writing a tome about what this book contains, I'll confine my comments to what I especially like about it and why.
First, the measurement fundamentals, the goal-based measurement framework, and information about data collection and management alone make this book worth owning. Data collection, for example, can waste resources if you try to collect everything, or worse, don't properly manage or analyze it. Follow the process given in the first part of this book and you'll have a solid basis for a metrics initiative.
Second, the scope of software engineering metrics is wide and given fairly detailed treatment. I especially like the fact that object-oriented metrics are addressed, and the multi-dimensional approach to measuring internal and external product attributes. Moreover, the scope of this book extends to productivity and resource management, which is where development projects and lifecycle costs associated with maintenance have gaps. Finally, the section on software reliability metrics was excellent and added yet another dimension to the coverage the authors give.
Overall, this book is both rigorous and practical as the title implies. The theory and practical applications of measurement and metrics are carefully balanced, and the breadth of material ensures that coverage is complete and addresses all major aspects of software engineering.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book to keep by your side! May 27 2012
By HappyBuyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book saved me from a class a took. This book also serves as a very good reference. I'm glad I have this handy and will certainly reuse it.
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