Communication metrics for software development

Allen H. Dutoit, Bernd Bruegge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


We present empirical evidence that metrics on communication artifacts generated by groupware tools can be used to gain significant insight into the development process that produced them. We describe a test-bed for developing and testing communication metrics, a senior level software engineering project course at Carnegie Mellon University, in which we conducted several studies and experiments from 1991-1996 with more than 400 participants. Such a test-bed is an ideal environment for empirical software engineering, providing sufficient realism while allowing for controlled observation of important project parameters. We describe three proof-of-concept experiments to illustrate the value of communication metrics in software development projects. Finally, we propose a statistical framework based on structural equations for validating these communication metrics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-628
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1998


  • Communication
  • Empirical software engineering
  • Statistics
  • Structural equations


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