Many authors have encouraged the use of modular programming techniques in software development. In fact, there is almost total agreement within industrial and academic circles that modularity is a desirable feature of any software package. Unfortunately, the desirability of modular design is almost always voiced without support from experimental evidence.
This paper consists of an experiment comparing the resource consumption of programmers based on the modularity practices employed during the design and programming phases of software development. The experiment tests the effectiveness of modularity in reducing psychological complexity of software.
The results of the research show that in some cases there is indeed a difference in resource consumption between the modularity practices tested. However, the stated benefits of modularity did not carry over to the design and programming phases of software development. The use of modularity seemed, in fact, to increase development costs in some cases.
Christiansen, Alan D.; Dekock, Arlan R.; and Prater, John Bruce, "An Experimental Study of the Effects of Modularity on Resource Consumption in Software Development" (1984). Computer Science Technical Reports. 58.
© 1984 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.