Software coupling involves dependencies among pieces of software called modules. Different types of coupling will dictate the manner whereby software modules interact and will result in different approaches to mutual function calls and return values, which can affect software quality attributes. Undoubtedly, coupling has been one of the most critical factors for supporting software modularity because it affects such important software quality attributes as reusability, readability, and maintainability. It is no surprise that coupling can affect energy efficiency. Recently, energy efficiency has increasingly been recognized as a critical software quality attribute, particularly for embedded software, including smartphone applications. Unfortunately, few studies have been conducted to date concerning coupling in developing energy-efficient and modular software, other than general studies on energy consumption and resource overutilization in the context of modularity. In this study, we aim to investigate the relationship between energy consumption and software coupling. In particular, we aim to determine whether it is possible to control energy consumption by applying different types of software coupling and, if so, how this might be done. We have performed a large number of experiments from which we have gained insight, although that insight might not be applicable to all possible types of coupling that are feasible, to help guide software engineers in developing energy-efficient embedded software. From the experimental results, we observe that overall “data” coupling reduces energy consumption when a large amount of data must be passed from one module to another, whereas “common” coupling is preferred when continuous memory references are needed, although energy consumption can also be somewhat dependent upon the operating environment. We describe such insights into the relationship between energy consumption and software coupling.
Software Quality Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 2, 2016
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