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Evaluating Software Evolvability



Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper


Proceedings of the 7th Conference on Software Engineering and Practice in Sweden (SERPS)


Software evolution is characterized by inevitable changes of software and increasing software complexities, which in turn may lead to huge cost unless rigorously taking into account change accommodations. This has intensified the need on evolvable software systems that can correspond to changes in a cost-effective way. Nevertheless, although software evolvability is one of the most important quality attributes of software, it is not precisely defined today. Besides, the lack of evolvability model hinders us from analyzing, evaluating and comparing software systems in terms of evolvability. To address these issues, we distinguish software evolvability from maintainability in this paper and outline a suggestion for an evolvability model which analyzes software evolvability from various perspectives, as well as an evolvability evaluation method. The model and the method are evaluated through its application in an industrial automation system. The contribution of this paper is the initial establishment of an explicit definition of software evolvability, an evolvability model and an evolvability evaluation method that can be applied for large complex software-intensive systems.


author = {Hongyu Pei-Breivold and Ivica Crnkovic and Peter Eriksson},
title = {Evaluating Software Evolvability},
month = {October},
year = {2007},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the 7th Conference on Software Engineering and Practice in Sweden (SERPS)},
url = {}