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A Software Science Model of Compile Time
May 1989 (vol. 15 no. 5)
pp. 543-549

The Halstead theory of software science is used to describe the compilation process and generate a compiler performance index. A nonlinear model of compile time is estimated for four Ada compilers. A fundamental relation between compile time and program modularity is proposed. Issues considered include data collection procedures, the development of a counting strategy, the analysis of the complexity measures used, and the investigation of significant relationships between program characteristics and compile time. The results indicate that the model has a high predictive power and provides interesting insights into compiler performance phenomena. The research suggests that the discrimination rate of a compiler is a valuable performance index and is preferred to average compile-time statistics.

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Index Terms:
software science model; compile time; Halstead theory of software science; compilation process; compiler performance index; nonlinear model; Ada compilers; fundamental relation; program modularity; data collection; counting strategy; complexity measures; significant relationships; program characteristics; predictive power; compiler performance; discrimination rate; performance index; performance evaluation; program compilers.
W.H. Shaw, Jr., J.W. Howatt, R.S. Maness, D.M. Miller, "A Software Science Model of Compile Time," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 543-549, May 1989, doi:10.1109/32.24703
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