Software Measurement

Software is the DNA of our modern information society [1]. To master this DNA, we need to be able to measure it. Here are some research topics:

  • Measurement models: building measurement models for a wide range of software aspects. See below.
  • Metrics: defining new metrics, for instance for XML schema structure [2], test coverage [3], architecture components [4,5], issue resolution [6,7].
  • Calibration and validation: Using empirical data to set metric thresholds [8,9] and determine predictive value [6,7].
  • Application: use software measurement for decision support [10], project management [11], portfolio management [12], certification [13].
  • Best practices and pitfalls: practical guidance for how to use software measurement effectively [14,15,16].

Measurement models

  • Aspects of software product quality as defined by the ISO 25010 standard for software quality, including maintainability [17] and security [18].
  • Unit test quality [19].
  • UML diagram quality [20].
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Architecture: componentisation [4,5], degree of service-orientation [21].
  • Software teamwork [22]
  • Project risk
  • Technical debt and interest [23,24]


  1. “How does your software measure up? Mastering the DNA of our information society” by Joost Visser, Inaugural address, 2012.
  2. Structure Metrics for XML Schema” by Joost Visser, Proceedings of XATA 2006.
  3. Tiago L. Alves and Joost Visser, Static Estimation of Test Coverage, In proceedings of the Ninth IEEE International Working Conference on Source Code Analysis and Manipulation (SCAM 2009), pages 55-64, IEEE Computer Society, 2009. DOI
  4. Eric Bouwers, Arie van Deursen, and Joost Visser, Dependency Profiles for Software Architecture Evaluations, In proceedings of the 27th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2011), p540-543, IEEE, 2011. DOI TR
  5. Eric Bouwers, José Pedro Correia, Arie van Deursen, and Joost Visser, Quantifying the Analyzability of Software Architectures, in proceedings of the 9th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture (WICSA 2011), pp. 83-92,IEEE Computer Society, 2011. DOI
  6. Dennis Bijlsma, Miguel Ferreira, Bart Luijten, and Joost Visser, Faster Issue Resolution with Higher Technical Quality of Software, Software Quality Journal, 2011. DOI
  7. Bart Luijten and Joost Visser, Faster Defect Resolution with Higher Technical Quality of Software, In proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Software Quality and Maintainability (SQM 2010), March 15, 2010, Madrid, Spain, 2010.
  8. Tiago Alves, Christiaan Ypma, and Joost Visser, Deriving Metric Thresholds from Benchmark Data, In proceedings of the 26th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2010), September 12-18, 2010, Timișoara, Romania, IEEE Computer Society, 2010. DOI
  9. Tiago L. Alves, José Pedro Correia, and Joost Visser, Benchmark-based Aggregation of Metrics to Ratings, In Proceedings of the Joint Conference of the 21th International Workshop on Software Measurement (IWSM) and the 6th International Conference on Software Process and Product Measurement (Mensura), pp20-29, IEEE Computer Society, 2011. DOI
  10. “Source-based Software Risk Assessment” by Arie van Deursen and Tobias Kuipers. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2003), IEEE Computer Society, 2003.
  11. Rick Klompé and Joost Visser, Project Management Through Product Measurement, InSIGht, June 2011
  12. Tobias Kuipers and Joost Visser. A Tool-based Methodology for Software Portfolio Monitoring. International Workshop on Software Audits and Metrics (SAM 2004), April 2004, Porto, Portugal.
  13. Robert Baggen, José Pedro Correia, Katrin Schill, and Joost Visser, Standardized Code Quality Benchmarking for Improving Software Maintainability, Software Quality Journal, 2011. DOI
  14. “Evaluating Usefulness of Software Metrics – an Industrial Experience Report” by Eric Bouwers, Arie Van Deursen and Joost Visser, Software Engineering in Practice (SEIP) track of the 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013).
  15. “Software metrics: Pitfalls & Best Practices” by Eric Bouwers, Arie Van Deursen and Joost Visser, Tutorial at 35th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2013).
  16. “Getting what you measure – Four common pitfalls in using software metrics for project management” by Eric Bouwers, Joost Visser, Arie van Deursen, ACM Queue, Volume 10 Issue 5, May 2012. DOI Also appeared in Communications of the ACM, Vol. 55 No. 7, Pages 54-59 ACM SIG
  17. Ilja Heitlager, Tobias Kuipers, and Joost Visser, A Practical Model for Measuring Maintainability, In proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Quality of Information and Communications Technology (QUATIC 2007), pages 30-39, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2007. DOI
  18. “A Practical Model For Rating Software Security” by Haiyun Xu, Jeroen Heijmans, and Joost Visser, in proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Software Security and Reliability (SERE 2013).
  19. Dimitrios Athanasiou, Constructing a Test Code Quality Model and Empirically Assessing its Relation to Issue Handling Performance, Master’s thesis, TU Delft, 2011.
  20. “The Use of UML Class Diagrams and Code Change-proneness” by Rut Torres Vargas, Ariadi Nugroho, Michel Chaudron and Joost Visser, in proceedings of  the workshop on Experiences and Empirical Studies in Software Modelling (EESSMod), 2012.
  21. “Measuring the Degree of Service Orientation in Proprietary SOA Systems” by Anwar Aldris, Ariadi Nugroho, Patricia Lago and Joost Visser, in the proceedings of the Seventh IEEE International Symposium on Service-Oriented System Engineering (SOSE 2013).
  22. “Towards High Performance Software Teamwork” by Emily Weimar, Ariadi Nugroho, Joost Visser and Aske Plaat, in proceedings of the 17th international conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE 2013).
  23. Jelle de Groot, Ariadi Nugroho, Thomas Bäck, and Joost Visser, What is the value of your software?, In proceedings of the Third International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD 2012), 2012.
  24. Ariadi Nugroho, Tobias Kuipers, and Joost Visser, An Empirical Model of Technical Debt and Interest, in proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Managing Technical Debt (MTD 2011), pages 1-8, ACM, 2011. DOI