The dance of classes: a stochastic model for software structure evolution

Rafael Prates Ferreira Trindade, Talita Santana Orfanó, Kecia Aline Marques Ferreira, Elizabeth Fialho Wanner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


In this study, we investigate software structure evolution and growth. We represent software structure by means of a generic macro-topology called Little House, which models the dependencies among classes of object-oriented software systems. We, then, define a stochastic model to predict the way software architectures evolve. The model estimates how the classes of object-oriented programs get connected one to another along the evolution of the systems. To define the model, we analyzed data from 81 versions of six Java based projects. We analyzed each pair of sequential versions, for each project, in order to depict a pattern of software structure evolution based on Little House. To evaluate the model, we performed two experiments: one with the data used to derive the model, and another with data of 35 releases, in total, of four open-source Java project. In both experiments, we found a very low rate of error for the application of the proposed model. The evaluation of the model suggests it is able to predict how a software structure will evolve.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWETSoM '17: Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Metrics
Place of PublicationPiscataway, NJ (US)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-1-5386-2807-2
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2017
Event8th Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Metrics: ICSE International Conference on Software Engineering - Argentina, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Duration: 20 May 201728 May 2017


Workshop8th Workshop on Emerging Trends in Software Metrics
Abbreviated titleWETSoM 2017
CityBuenos Aires

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