On Inter-Method and Intra-Method Object-Oriented Class Cohesion

On Inter-Method and Intra-Method Object-Oriented Class Cohesion

Frank Tsui (Southern Polytechnic State University, USA), Orlando Karam (Southern Polytechnic State University, USA), Sheryl Duggins (Southern Polytechnic State University, USA) and Challa Bonja (Southern Polytechnic State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jitsa.2009010102
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Abstract

Cohesion has been a topic of interest since structured design in the 1970’s. Cohesion may also be viewed as a characterization of a system attribute. Today, there are numerous researchers continuing this work into object-oriented designs. Most of the current research has focused on the interaction of methods within a class, the inter-method cohesion. In this paper, we consider both the inter-method cohesion and the intra-method cohesion of a class. We have utilized the concept of program slice (Weiser, 1981) and have extended Functional Cohesion (Bieman & Ott, 1994) to devise a new intra-method cohesion metric, ITRA-C, for measuring cohesion of each method within the class. This intra-method cohesion is based on the notion of effects and chaining in an effect-slice. We further combine the (inter-method, intra-method)-tuple into one combined Class Cohesion, which provides a quick view of bands of cohesion for categorizing classes.

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