A Case Study in Software Reuse: The RNTDS Architecture

Date of Award

Fall 12-1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

Committee Director

C. Michael Overstreet

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C65S74


It has been asserted that the most significant gains in software productivity will come from increased levels of software reuse. Some economic models for predicting savings through software reuse exist, but none are based on actual project experience. This paper surveys those models and presents the results of a case study, the Restructured Naval Tactical Data Systems (RNTDS) architecture, in the light of those models. According to the models, software reuse via the RNTDS architecture has enabled the production of fourteen major computer programs at five to twenty-one percent of the cost to create them without software reuse. Organizational characteristics cited by the Software Engineering Institute as promoting reuse hold true for the RNTDS architecture. The high degree of software reuse in the architecture (89 to 99 percent reuse across fourteen programs) was made possible by a high degree of common functionality and from the use of design techniques which exploited it. A reusable component is not more expensive to produce a "non-reusable" one. Increased architectural and repository costs were equally offset by decreased component testing requirements. Also included in this paper are a brief survey of the software reuse state of the art and annotated and general software reuse bibliographies.


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