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Prototyping Versus Specifying: A Multiproject Experiment

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3 Author(s)
Barry W. Boehm ; Software and Information Systems, Division, TRW Defense Systems Group, Redondo Beach, CA 90278; University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024. ; Terence E. Gray ; Thomas Seewaldt

In this experiment, seven software teams developed versions of the same small-size (2000-4000 source instruction) application software product. Four teams used the Specifying approach. Three teams used the Prototyping approach. The main results of the experiment were the following. 1) Prototyping yielded products with roughly equivalent performance, but with about 40 percent less code and 45 percent less effort. 2) The prototyped products rated somewhat lower on functionality and robustness, but higher on ease of use and ease of learning. 3) Specifying produced more coherent designs and software that was easier to integrate. The paper presents the experimental data supporting these and a number of additional conclusions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:SE-10 ,  Issue: 3 )