Table of Contents
Advances in Software Engineering
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 729826, 21 pages
Research Article

An Empirical Study of Social Networks Metrics in Object-Oriented Software

Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Cagliari, 09123 Cagliari, Italy

Received 14 April 2010; Accepted 13 August 2010

Academic Editor: Ewan Tempero

Copyright © 2010 Giulio Concas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We study the application to object-oriented software of new metrics, derived from Social Network Analysis. Social Networks metrics, as for instance, the EGO metrics, allow to identify the role of each single node in the information flow through the network, being related to software modules and their dependencies. These metrics are compared with other traditional software metrics, like the Chidamber-Kemerer suite, and software graph metrics. We examine the empirical distributions of all the metrics, bugs included, across the software modules of several releases of two large Java systems, Eclipse and Netbeans. We provide analytical distribution functions suitable for describing and studying the observed distributions. We study also correlations among metrics and bugs. We found that the empirical distributions systematically show fat-tails for all the metrics. Moreover, the various metric distributions look very similar and consistent across all system releases and are also very similar in both the studied systems. These features appear to be typical properties of these software metrics.