On building programmer-independent program size measure

Akito Monden, Ken Ichi Matsumoto, Shinji Uchida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Source Lines of Code (SLOC) is a most basic and widely-used program size measure in software project management and/or quality assurance although it greatly depends on a programmer who implemented the program. To build a programmer-independent program size measure, this paper analyzed 9 independentlybuilt C programs of a same functional specification, and found that 3 base measures (the number of tokens, tokens of code clones, and function parameters) are useful to eliminate programmer-dependent aspects of SLOC. A new size measure called Adjusted Length of Code (ALOC) built upon these 3 base measures showed that variations of size in ALOC was at most 1.22 times difference among 9 programs while SLOC showed 3.16 times difference. Furthermore, ALOC showed at most 1.60 times difference among another 6 independently-built programs of an alternative specification while SLOC showed 4.66 times difference among these programs. These results suggest that the new measure ALOC can reduce the programmer-dependent aspects of program size and can be used as a better size measure in project management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-382
Number of pages6
JournalComputer Software
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 8 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software


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