In our research and development work, we often spend a lot of time on structuring the measurement information. As difficult as it is to do it upfront, we still manage to get something if we base our work on the ISO&IEC 15939 standard and it’s measurement information meta-model.
However, the challenge arises when we want to provide a structure over an existing database or if we want to exchange the measurement information (values, definitions, etc.).
Here, we have the Software Measurement Meta-Model to the rescue (http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?formal/16-04-04.pdf). The meta-model provides the types and relations to describe the measurement data. In the first glance, one could think that this is a meta-model to structure your measurement database, but it is not. The structure of the database needs to be much simpler, but the exchange format is to be more complex. The complexity stems from the fact that one needs to make sure that two meta-levels are transferred – the measurement data and its meta-data. It’s the meta-data that is mostly complex and therefore the entire format gets complex.
I recommend to take a look at the structure of the meta-model, so that one can understand the complexity of measurement processes.
However, there is a spoiler – this is NOT a bed-time reading!