Jeff Tian's Research in Software Measurement and Analysis

I am interested in the measurement, analysis, and improvement of software products and processes. Some of my specific research activities in this area are summarized below.

Analysis of Software Defects and Other Data from Industry

Various measurement data about software processes and products from industry can be analyzed to understand practical problems and derive solutions to help optimize project management, improve quality and productivity, reduce cost and cycle-time. Various statistical analysis techniques (see also risk identification/management techniques) can be used to understand the relations among different data attributes and guide improvement actions. Recent results for several projects from IBM and Nortel are summarized in the following papers (see also abstracts for some of these and other recent papers):
  1. A.G. Koru and J. Tian, "An Empirical Comparison and Characterization of High Defect and High Complexity Modules", Journal of Systems and Software, (accepted 4/2002, to appear.)
  2. J. Tian, A. Nguyen, C. Allen, and R. Appan, "Experience with Identifying and Characterizing Problem Prone Modules in Telecommunication Software Systems", Journal of Systems and Software, Vol. 57, No.3, pp.207-215, July, 2001.
  3. J. Tian and J. Troster. "A Comparison of Measurement and Defect Characteristics of New and Legacy Software Systems", Journal of Systems and Software Vol. 44, No. 2, pp.135-146, Dec., 1998.
Recently, we have also been applying similar analysis techniques to analyze the defects and related data for web applications, and obtained some interesting results.

Metrics Evaluation/Selection Criteria

I am interested in developing program complexity metrics based on formal models (for example, decomposition of prime programs and information theory), and models/techniques for metrics evaluation and selection, to provide a solid basis for a successful measurement program. This approach has been used in NASA/SEL projects and found to be effective. This work is summarized in the following papers (see also online abstracts for these and other related papers):

Tool Support to Implement the above Techniques and Strategies

Some of my recent results in this research area are summarized in the following paper:
Prepared by Jeff Tian (
Last update: May 2, 2003.

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