Microscopic Coupling Metrics for Refactoring (2006)

Author(s): Padmaja Joshi and Rushikesh K. Joshi
Venue: 10th European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering
Date: 2006

Type of Experiement: Case Study


A medium sized Java program with 15 classes the proposed metrics were used to aid in
refactoring the code to reduce coupling.

Two microscopic coupling metrics were proposed in response to system-wide and too broad
of coupling metrics previously proposed. Relative Method Coupling (RMC) and Relative
Inward Coupling (RIC) were proposed to address this issue. RMC computes a ratio of a
methods coupling to another methods coupling to its class. This gives a better sense of the
“strength” of a coupling connection. RIC follows in suit except vice-versa. Discussion of
inward, outward, and gross projections were also discussed where gross is the summation of
inward and outward projects. Viewpoints were also introduced to give focus to system, class,
method, and attribute levels. RMC and RIC were shown to be able to aid in relocation of
methods to aid in reducing overall coupling.