Restructuring software: A case study.
Software-Practice & Experience, 26
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We use knot count and path count metrics to identify which routines in the Level 1 basic linear algebra subroutines (BLAS) might benefit from code restructuring. We then consider how logical restructuring and the improvements in the facilities available from successive versions of Fortran have allowed us to improve the complexity of the code as measured by knot count, path count and cyclomatic complexity, and the user interface of one of the identified routines which computes the Euclidean norm of a vector. With these reductions in complexity we hope that we have contributed to improvements in the maintainability and clarity of the code. Software complexity metrics and the control graph are used to quantify and provide a visual guide to the quality of the software, and the performance of two Fortran code restructuring tools is reported. Finally, we give some indication of the cost of the extra numerical robustness offered by the BLAS routine over the use of new Fortran 90 intrinsic functions.
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