A Theoretical and Empirical Evaluation of Software Component Search Engines, Semantic Search Engines and Google Search Engine in the Context of COTS-Based Development

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COTS-based development is a component reuse approach promising to reduce costs and risks, and ensure higher quality. The growing availability of COTS components on the Web has concretized the possibility of achieving these objectives. In this multitude, a recurrent problem is the identification of the COTS components that best satisfy the user requirements. Finding an adequate COTS component implies searching among heterogeneous descriptions of the components within a broad search space. Thus, the use of search engines is required to make more efficient the COTS components identification. In this paper, the authors investigate, theoretically and empirically, the COTS component search performance of eight software component search engines, nine semantic search engines and a conventional search engine (Google).