Evolution of feature-oriented software: How to stay on course and avoid the cliffs of modularity drift

Andrzej Olszak, Sanja Lazarova-Molnar, Bo Nørregaard Jørgensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Citations (Scopus)


With time software systems easily become obsolete if not updated to reflect the ever-changing needs of their users. This update process is far from trivial as each feature is not necessarily captured by a single module, but rather scattered across a number of different modules. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that a module can encompass a number of different features. Our goal is to measure and evaluate how easy it is to trace back and update a given piece of software based on its modularity. Modularity is known as the degree to which a system’s components may be separated and recombined. The approach that we propose is based on the idea of using relative, as opposed to absolute, modularity metrics that measure the distance between the actual metric values for a given source code and their values achievable for the source code’s ideally modularized counterpart. The approach, termed modularization compass, computes the modularity drift by optimizing the feature-oriented modularization of source code based on traceability links between features and source code. The optimized modularizations are created automatically by transforming the groupings of classes into packages, which is guided by a multi-objective grouping genetic algorithm. The proposed approach was evaluated by application to long-term release histories of three open-source Java applications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware Technologies - 9th International Joint Conference, ICSOFT 2014, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsJorge Cardoso, Leszek A. Maciaszek, Andreas Holzinger, Therese Libourel, Jose Cordeiro, Andreas Holzinger, Marten van Sinderen, Therese Libourel, Leszek A. Maciaszek, Jorge Cardoso, Jose Cordeiro, Marten van Sinderen
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783319255781, 9783319255781
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies, ICSOFT 2014 - Vienna, Australia
Duration: Aug 29 2014Aug 31 2014

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
ISSN (Print)1865-0929


Other9th International Joint Conference on Software Technologies, ICSOFT 2014


  • Feature-oriented modularization
  • Remodularization
  • Software comprehension
  • Software evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


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