Software reuse provides several advantages, e.g., increased productivity and software quality, decreased development time and costs. Installing reuse programs requires up-front investments. Empirical data showing that a potential for software reuse exists in a certain environment will help managers to decide on such investments. In order to determine the potential productivity gain it is necessary to know the amount of similarities in one's systems. Systematic black-box reuse increases productivity more than white-box reuse. However, white-box reuse is the usual means of dealing with common parts in different systems. We will demonstrate that word and line runs provide an effective means for measuring ad-hoc reuse and determining reuse potential. The suggested measurement can be used to determine candidates for reusable components and, thus, help in focusing reuse investments. Line and word run measurement can be used to nd similarities in any text and can be used for other purposes as well. We will demonstrate other applications like spotting locations of possible redesign in object-oriented programs
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