Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject examines the different attributes of the quality of a piece of software, the techniques of measuring them and the means of developing quality software. The topics covered include measurement techniques, empirical relations, representation conditions, measurement types and scales, direct and indirect measurements, measurement prediction, meaningfulness in measurement, software quality attributes, software metrics, different types of metrics, software complexity, size estimation, software productivity, GQM, management by metrics, software reliability concepts, reliability model, reliability estimation, testing issues in the real world, test suite design, testing techniques, management issues in testing, software release policies, fault and failure, fault report, and fault and failure analysis.

SchoolSchool Engineering&Mathematical Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRichard Lai

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites CSE5DES or CSE5SDM or admission in one of the following courses: SMIT, SMICT, SMCSC, SGIT or SGCS.


Incompatible subjects CSE3MQR

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsSoftware Metrics: A Practical and Rigorous ApproachRecommendedNorman FentonA COPY IS AVAILABLE IN THE LIBRARY

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Be able to compare the different measurement methods and to explain the reasons behind how measurement is used for understanding, controlling and improving a software project.

Students are taught the concepts of software metrics, measurement methods and measurement data, and how measurement enables a project to be understood, controlled and improved. Case studies are employed to demonstrate how it is done.

02. Be able to construct test cases to test a software product adequately and effectively and relate them to the criteria for releasing the product to the customer

Students are taught how poor quality software could affect many aspects of lives. For instance, a poor quality software affects the performance of an organisation and jeopardises human lives when it is used in a safety-critical system. Students are required to construct test cases that have a good coverage of the specification so that it is well tested before being shipped to a customer.

03. Be able to justify how some of the software metrics (eg Halstead complexity metrics, McCabe Cyclometric metrics) are used for measuring the complexity attributes of a software system.

Students are taught the techniques of devising software metrics in relation to software goals and the goals of a company. The Halstead complexity metrics and McCabe Cycolmetric metrics are explained as to how they are used for measuring the complexity attribute of a software system. Case studies are employed to demonstrate how they are put into practice

04. Be able to formulate measurement framework and techniques like Function Point and GQM for measuring certain performance attributes of a software project.

Students are taught the Function Point and GQM frameworks and techniques for measuring the size and performance attributes of a software project. Case studies on Function Point and GQM will be presented during the lectures. Students will be given further case studies for them to apply these concepts in the Lab/Tute classes.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Semester 2, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRichard Lai

Class requirements

Laboratory Class Week: 32 - 43
One 2.0 hours laboratory class per week on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.

Lecture Week: 31 - 43
Two 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Exam (2 hours)Hurdle requirement: to pass the subject, a minimum 40% mark in the examination is mandatory.30 01, 02, 03, 04
Problem solving tasks (1,300-words in total)24 01, 02, 03, 04
Laboratory report (1,000-words)20 01, 02, 03, 04
10 Tutorial exercises (900-words in total)18 01, 02, 03, 04
Nine Quizzes (100-words in total)8 01, 02, 03, 04