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<p>Measurements of 23 style characteristics, and the program metrics LOC, V(g), VARS, and PARS were collected from student Cobol programs by a program analyzer. These measurements, together with debugging time (syntax and logic) data, were analyzed using several statistical procedures of SAS (statistical analysis system), including linear, quadratic, and multiple regressions. Some of the characteristics shown to correlate significantly with debug time are GOTO usage, structuring of the IF-ELSE construct, level 88 item usage, paragraph invocation pattern, and data name length. Among the observed characteristic measures which are associated with lowest debug times are: 17% blank lines in the data division, 12% blank lines in the procedure division, and 13-character-long data items. A debugging effort estimator, DEST, was developed to estimate debug times.</p>
debugging effort estimation; quadratic regressions; linear regressions; software metrics; style characteristics; LOC; V(g); VARS; PARS; Cobol programs; program analyzer; statistical procedures; SAS; statistical analysis system; multiple regressions; GOTO usage; IF-ELSE construct; level 88 item usage; paragraph invocation pattern; data name length; debug times; DEST; program debugging; program testing; statistical analysis.

A. Benander, N. Gorla and B. Benander, "Debugging Effort Estimation Using Software Metricsv," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 16, no. , pp. 223-231, 1990.
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