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Using process simulation to compare scheduling strategies for software projects

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1 Author(s)
Padberg, F. ; Fak. fur Inf., Karlsruhe Univ., Germany

We present a discrete simulation model for software projects which explicitly takes a scheduling strategy as input. The model represents varying staff skill levels, component coupling, rework caused by design changes, and changing task assignments. The simulation model is implemented in the ModL language of the general-purpose graphical simulation tool EXTEND. The simulations provide quick feedback about the impact which the scheduling strategy will have on the progress and completion time of a given software project. Using the model, a manager can compare different strategies and choose the one which is best for his next project. As an illustration how to apply the simulation model, we systematically study the performance of various list policies for a small sample project. We provide a detailed analysis of the task assignments which actually occur in the simulations. In addition, the example provides clear evidence that strategies which are more adaptive to the current project state than list policies will yield improved schedules. This result suggests to apply dynamic optimization techniques when scheduling software projects.

Published in:

Software Engineering Conference, 2002. Ninth Asia-Pacific

Date of Conference:

2002