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A model for estimating the size of a formal communication protocol specification and its implementation

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2 Author(s)
R. Lai ; Dept. of Comput. Sci. & Comput. Eng., La Trobe Univ., Australia ; Sun-Jen Huang

Good project management is key when developing a software system successfully. To manage a project well, it is important to have the optimal resource allocation which is affected by the size of an implementation. Early software size estimation is essential for good project management. Existing software size models estimate the size of an implementation usually in terms of the number of lines of code. The main drawback of these models is that there is a wide margin of uncertainty as the actual size depends on the type of application and the software development method adopted. To address this drawback, we focus our work on communication protocol, and propose that the size of a formal specification needs to be estimated from an informal specification. This paper presents a two-stage size model for estimating the sizes of a formal communication protocol specification and its implementation, with the model validated using a test data set. The main benefit of this work is that it can give an indication of the likely sizes of both a formal specification and its implementation early at the development stage, giving developers a technique for managing communication software project better.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )