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An Empirical Study of Representation Methods for Reusable Software Components
August 1994 (vol. 20 no. 8)
pp. 617-630

An empirical study of methods for representing reusable software components is described. Thirty-five subjects searched for reusable components in a database of UNIX tools using four different representation methods: attribute-value, enumerated, faceted, and keyword. The study used Proteus, a reuse library system that supports multiple representation methods. Searching effectiveness was measured with recall, precision, and overlap. Search time for the four methods was also compared. Subjects rated the methods in terms of preference and helpfulness in understanding components. Some principles for constructing reuse libraries. Based on the results of this study, are discussed.

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Index Terms:
software reusability; knowledge representation; subroutines; representation methods; reusable software components; UNIX tools; attribute-value; keyword; Proteus; reuse library system; multiple representation; software reuse; experimentation; empirical methods; information storage and retrieval; reuse libraries; component indexing; keyword searching; faceted classification; enumerated classification; component understanding; database
W.B. Frakes, T.P. Pole, "An Empirical Study of Representation Methods for Reusable Software Components," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 20, no. 8, pp. 617-630, Aug. 1994, doi:10.1109/32.310671
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