An Empirical Experimentation to Evaluate Effectiveness of Declarative Programming Languages in Software Development Process

A. Ahmad (Pakistan) and M. Talha (USA)


Software Metrics, Declarative Programming, Program Difficulty


It has been cited in the literature that declarative programming languages are promising in reducing the human effort involved in programming as compared to procedural programming languages. However, in reality little or no empirical evidence has been produced to support this assumption. Moreover, previously software science metrics have been extensively applied on conventional procedural programming languages for evaluation of various program characteristics pertaining to software quality. This obviously triggers curiosity to explore applicability of software science to declarative languages. The work in this paper reports on a pioneer investigation in this direction. The objective of this paper is two fold: first to empirically validate the fact that declarative language reduces the human effort involved in programming in comparison to procedural programming languages, and secondly to study into the application of software science to fifth generation declarative languages like Prolog. An experiment was carried out on a large scale with the aid of various tools that the authors of this paper have developed to study software metrics of several programming languages. These tools were used to analyze large number of programs samples collected from published literature and university environments written in Prolog and C++. The results of experimentation are significant and clearly indicate with empirical evidence that declarative programming languages are actually effective in reducing program difficulty versus procedural programming language.

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