Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Doris L. Carver


Over the past decade, problems in software development and maintenance have increased rapidly. The size of software has grown explosively, complexity of software applications has increased, the nature of software applications has become more critical, and large quantities of software to be maintained have accumulated. During the same time, the productivity of individual software engineers has not improved proportionally. Software reusability is widely believed to be a key to help overcome the ongoing software crisis by improving software productivity and quality. However, the promise of software reusability has not yet been fulfilled. We present a multi-faceted software reusability model, a Quintet Web, that enables designers to reuse software artifacts from all phases. The Quintet Web consists of links of five types of reuse support information among existing document blocks: semantic, horizontal, hierarchical, syntactic, and alternative relationships. The five types of reuse support information are named the Semantic Web, the Horizontal Web, the Vertical Web, the Syntactic Web, and the Alternative Web. The Semantic Web defines the operational functionality of each software block. The Horizontal Web links functionally identical blocks of all phases. The Vertical Web identifies hierarchical relationships of software blocks. The Syntactic Web forms a chain from the declaration of each variable to its uses for all variables. The Alternative Web enables software developers to select an alternative algorithm for an identical functionality. The Quintet Web supports both software development and maintenance. When the Quintet Web is applied to development process, it provides software developers a means to check the consistency of the software being developed. The Quintet Web model is independent of a specific software development method.