The Metrology Journey towards an 8th Base Quantity for Software

How Far or How Close Are We?

Abran, A.

This past January, the Information Technology Laboratory of NIST had issued a report NIST IR8101: ‘A Rational Foundation for Software Metrology’. In this report, a major issue is identified, that is: the current set of 7 international units cannot be used for software measurement.
In this talk, Dr. Abran will present some key metrology-related lessons learned from the past and how they relate to software measurement. He will also share recent insights from his exploration of the relevance and use of metrology concepts for software measurement, and how close or how far are we in a journey towards the design (and acceptance…) of an 8th base measure for software?
In his book ‘Software Metrics and Software Metrology’ Dr. Abran has used a number of metrology concepts to document structural weaknesses in the design of well-known software metrics and, from the lessons learned, he has illustrated next how some metrology criteria had been taken into account in the design of the 2nd generation of a measurement method for the functional size of a software.
The NIST team is highly interested in further interactions on both COSMIC and Metrology to improve the fundamentals of software measurement, and we are looking for developing the means of closer collaboration over the coming months.
‘Many ad hoc software metrics have been defined and used. But when neither the methods of established metrology nor any comparable alternative are applied, the outcome is metrics and procedures that do not meet expectations for metrological rigor and results whose meaning and significance are unclear.’
From: ‘A Rational Foundation for Software Metrology’ – NIST 2016

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