When minor modifications need to be made in an object-oriented computer program, they often incur further more changes due to the presence of dependency in the codes and the program structure. Yet, to accommodate the required change, there can also be more than one option to carry out the initial modifications. To select the modification option in this context, this paper proposes a systematic approach to estimate the scope of change propagation of an object-oriented program given some initial modifications. The strategy is to first capture the dependency relationships of the entities pertaining to an object-oriented program via the matrix representation. Based on this matrix-based model, the priority number method is proposed and applied to estimate the scope of change propagation by assuming some initial modifications. The core of this method is to estimate the chance of affecting other program entities due to some modified entities. A case study is conducted throughout the paper to illustrate and justify the proposed method.

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