Common coupling and pointer variables, with application to a Linux case study

Stephen R. Schach*, Tokunbo O.S. Adeshiyan, Daniel Balasubramanian, Gabor Madl, Esteban P. Osses, Sameer Singh, Karlkim Suwanmongkol, Minhui Xie, Dror G. Feitelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Both common coupling and pointer variables can exert a deleterious effect on the quality of software. The situation is exacerbated when global variables are assigned to pointer variables, that is, when an alias to a global variable is created. When this occurs, the number of global variables increases, and it becomes considerably harder to compute quality metrics correctly. However, unless aliasing is taken into account, variables may incorrectly appear to be unreferenced (neither defined nor used), or to be used without being defined. These ideas are illustrated by means of a case study of common coupling in the Linux kernel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)99-113
Number of pages15
JournalSoftware Quality Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aliasing
  • Common coupling
  • Definition-use analysis
  • Global variables
  • Linux
  • Pointer variables


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