Software Development Process Simulation: Multi Agent-Based Simulation versus System Dynamics

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Abstract

We present one of the first actual applications of Multi Agent-Based Simulation (MABS) to the field of software process simulation modelling (SPSM). Although there are some recent attempts to do this, we argue that these fail to take full advantage of the agency paradigm. Our model of the software development process integrates individual-level performance, cognition and artefact quality models in a common simulation framework. In addition, this framework allows the implementation of both MABS and System Dynamics (SD) simulators using the same basic models. As SD is the dominating approach within SPSM, we are able to make relevant and unique comparisons between it and MABS. This enabled us to uncover quite interesting properties of these approaches, e.g., that MABS reflects the problem domain more realistically than SD.