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Software cost and time estimation is the process of estimating the cost and time required to develop a software system. Software cost and time estimation supports the planning and tracking of software projects. Effectively controlling the expensive investment of software development is one of the important issues in software project management. Estimating software development cost with high precision is still a great challenge for project managers, because it allows for considerable financial and strategic planning. Software cost estimation refers to the predictions of the likely amount of effort, time, and staffing levels required to build a software system. A very helpful form of cost estimation is the one made at an early stage during a project, when the costing of the project is proposed for approval. However, estimates at the early stages of the development are the most difficult to obtain. In this paper a novel Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO) based on soft computing approach is proposed for software cost estimation. This model carries some of the desirable features of neural networks approach, such as learning ability and good interpretability, while maintaining the merits of the COCOMO model. Unlike the standard neural networks approach, the proposed model can be interpreted and validated by experts, and has good generalisation capability. The model deals effectively with imprecise and uncertain input and enhances the reliability of software cost estimates. From the experimental results, it was concluded that, by the proposed neural network model, the accuracy of cost estimation can be improved and the estimated cost can be very close to the actual cost.
Computer and Automation Engineering (ICCAE), 2010 The 2nd International Conference on (Volume:3 )
Date of Conference: 26-28 Feb. 2010