Supporting Search for Reusable Software Objects
38 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2008
Date Written: 1993
Software reuse in the presence of a repository and object-based CASE tool is likely to be biased. Prior research has shown that a developer will be: (1) most likely to reuse her own objects; (2) somewhat less likely to reuse objects developed by her project team members; and, (3) even less likely to reuse objects stored in the repository, but developed elsewhere in the corporation. These biases can result in sub-optimal levels of software reuse. In the presence of such biases it is appropriate to deploy tools that support the search for software reuse, so that developers find it easier to reuse software objects authored by developers other than themselves or project team members. However; the tools that are chosen or created for this purpose must adequately treat the technical and cognitive fundamentals of the problem for individual developers, and recognize the organizational and economic perspectives of a firm that wishes to maximize the business value of its software development activities. In this paper we present a two-stage descriptive model that represents the search process for reusable software objects. We evaluate appropriate technologies, propose a technical solution to the problem of searching for reusable objects, and demonstrate its feasibility via a prototype implementation. The technical tool combines an automated classifier and a hypertext system. We describe an architecture to automatically create hypertext networks based on the classification schema. We illustrate our architecture using a classification of software objects obtained through structured interviews with software developers.
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