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Bayesian analysis of empirical software engineering cost models

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3 Author(s)
Chulani, Sunita ; Centre for Software Eng., IBM Res., San Jose, CA, USA ; Boehm, B. ; Steece, B.

Many parametric software estimation models have evolved in the last two decades (L.H. Putnam and W. Myers, 1992; C. Jones, 1997; R.M. Park et al., 1992). Almost all of these parametric models have been empirically calibrated to actual data from completed software projects. The most commonly used technique for empirical calibration has been the popular classical multiple regression approach. As discussed in the paper, the multiple regression approach imposes a few assumptions frequently violated by software engineering datasets. The paper illustrates the problems faced by the multiple regression approach during the calibration of one of the popular software engineering cost models, COCOMO II. It describes the use of a pragmatic 10 percent weighted average approach that was used for the first publicly available calibrated version (S. Chulani et al., 1998). It then moves on to show how a more sophisticated Bayesian approach can be used to alleviate some of the problems faced by multiple regression. It compares and contrasts the two empirical approaches, and concludes that the Bayesian approach was better and more robust than the multiple regression approach

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:25 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Jul/Aug 1999

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