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As a key early artifact in the development of Object Oriented software, the superiority of class diagrams is crucial for all later design work and could be a major determinant for the quality of the software product that is finally carried. Quantitative measurement instruments are useful to assess class diagram quality in an objective way, thus avoiding bias in the quality evaluation process. A set of metrics -based on UML relationships- which measure UML class diagram structural complexity following the idea that it is related to the maintainability of such diagrams. Also concise are two controlled experiments carried out in order to gather empirical evidence in this sense.As a result of all the experimental work, Researcher can conclude that most of the metrics researcher proposed (NAssoc, NAgg,NaggH, MaxHAgg, NGen, NgenH and MaxDIT) are good indicators of class diagram maintainability. Researcher cannot, however, draw such firm conclusions regarding the NDep metric.

OO high-level metrics
structural complexity
class diagrams
empirical validation
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