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    Metric-based analysis of context-free grammars


    Power, James F. and Malloy, B.A. (2000) Metric-based analysis of context-free grammars. In: 8th International Workshop on Program Comprehension, 2000. Proceedings. IWPC 2000. IEEE, pp. 171-178. ISBN 0769506569

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    Abstract

    Recent advances in software engineering have produced a variety of well-established approaches, formalisms and techniques to facilitate the construction of large-scale applications. Developers who are interested in the construction of robust, extensible software that is easy to maintain should expect to deploy a range of these techniques, as appropriate to the task. In this paper, we provide a foundation for the application of established software metrics to the measurement of context-free grammars. The usual application of software metrics is to program code; we provide a mapping that allows these metrics to be applied to grammars. This allows us to interpret six software engineering metrics in a grammatical context, including T.J. McCabe's (1976) complexity metric and N.E. Fenton et al.'s (1996) impurity metric. We have designed and implemented a tool to automatically compute the six metrics; as a case study, we use these six metrics to measure some of the properties of grammars for the Oberon, ISO C, ISO C++ and Java programming languages. We believe that the techniques that we have developed can be applied to estimating the difficulty of designing, implementing, testing and maintaining parsers for large grammars

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This is the preprint version of the published paper, which is available at DOI: 10.1109/WPC.2000.852491
    Keywords: Metric-based; analysis; context-free grammars; Software metrics;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Item ID: 6458
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1109/WPC.2000.852491
    Depositing User: Dr. James Power
    Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2015 15:26
    Publisher: IEEE
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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