Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
High cohesion is a desirable property of software as it positively impacts understanding, reuse, and maintenance. Currently proposed measures for cohesion in Object-Oriented (OO) software reflect particular interpretations of cohesion and capture different aspects of it. Existing approaches are largely based on using the structural information from the source code, such as attribute references, in methods to measure cohesion. This paper proposes a new measure for the cohesion of classes in OO software systems based on the analysis of the unstructured information embedded in the source code, such as comments and identifiers. The measure, named the Conceptual Cohesion of Classes (C3), is inspired by the mechanisms used to measure textual coherence in cognitive psychology and computational linguistics.