An empirical study of ICASE learning curves and probability bounds for software development effort

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Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the existence of learning curves in software development. Under the assumption of independent and identical distribution (iid) of programmer's experience and identical effort-experience learning curve relationship for different programmers, we illustrate the existence of an exponentially decreasing learning curve relationship between a programmer's effort and his/her ICASE tool experience, and show that the effort-experience relationship is inelastic when a programmer's ICASE tool experience is low. We analyze the impact of our assumptions on actual software development effort, and propose a tight probability upper bound and a central-limit theorem based probability estimator for estimating the approximate probability that the software development effort will be less than or equal to a certain number. Examples to illustrate the use of the probability estimator are also provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1086-1096
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Volume183
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2007

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Information Systems and Management

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