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An Architecture based on interactive optimization and machine learning applied to the next release problem

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Abstract

The next release problem (NRP) consists of selecting which requirements will be implemented in the next release of a software system. For many search based software engineering approaches to the NRP, there is still a lack of capability to efficiently incorporate human experience and preferences in the search process. Therefore, this paper proposes an architecture to deal with this issue, where the decision maker (DM) and his/her tacit assessments are taken into account during the solutions evaluations alongside the interactive genetic algorithm. Furthermore, a learning model is employed to avoid an overwhelming number of interactions. An empirical study involving software engineer practitioners, different instances, and different machine learning techniques was performed to assess the feasibility of the architecture to incorporate human knowledge in the overall optimization process. Obtained results indicate the architecture can assist the DM in selecting a set of requirements that properly incorporate his/her expertise, while optimizing other explicit measurable aspects equally important to the next release planning. On a scale of 0 (very ineffective) to 5 (very effective), all participants found the experience of interactively selecting the requirements using the approach as a 4 (effective).

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Notes

  1. http://goes.uece.br/allyssonaraujo/architecture4inrp.

  2. http://goes.uece.br/allyssonaraujo/architecture4inrp.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the editorial staff and the anonymous reviewers for their professional and constructive comments, the participants of the experiment for their availability and, finally, the members of the Optimization in Software Engineering Group of the State University of Ceará.

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Correspondence to Allysson Allex Araújo.

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Araújo, A.A., Paixao, M., Yeltsin, I. et al. An Architecture based on interactive optimization and machine learning applied to the next release problem. Autom Softw Eng 24, 623–671 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10515-016-0200-3

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