Advertisement

ESPRIT ’90 pp 296-314 | Cite as

The MERMAID Approach to software cost estimation

  • P. A. M. Kok
  • B. A. Kitchenham
  • J. Kirawkowski

Abstract

Despite the large supply of methods and tools for cost estimation, estimating the costs of a software development project remains a non-trivial activity. Research [Heemstra 1989, Mermaid 1989] has shown that the accuracy of such tools is low. It has also been shown that only a limited group of organizations uses systematic methods for drawing up a cost estimate for project-based software development. For many years, various lines of industry (for example the building industry and the catering industry) have used experience figures when drawing up cost estimates for projects. Cost estimates for software projects often lack such a basis, partly because there are no adequate tools for recording and analysing historical project data. This paper presents an analysis of the problems in the field of software cost models and describes the MERMAID approach to cost estimation. The MERMAID approach makes intensive use of local historical project data and is applicable in all sectors where project data can be collected.

Keywords

Cost Estimation Cost Driver Knowledge Elicitation Past Project Size Prediction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Albrecht, A.J. and Gaffney, J.E. (1983) “Software Function, Source Lines of Code, and Development Effort Prediction: A Software Science Validation”. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering SE-9(6), pp. 639–648.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, J.W. and Basili, V.R. (1981) “A Meta-Model for Software Development Resource Expenditures”. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE/ACM/NBS, March.Google Scholar
  3. Boehm, B.W. (1981) “Software Engineering Economics”. Prentice Hall, New Jersey.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Boehm, B.W. (1989) “Tutorial on Software Risk Management”. 11th Conf on Software Engineering.Google Scholar
  5. CEC, (1987) “ESPRIT workprogramme”, Brussels.Google Scholar
  6. Conte, S.D., Dunsmore, D.E. and Shen, V.Y. (1986) “Software Engineering Metrics and Models”. Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, California.Google Scholar
  7. DeMarco, T. (1982) “Controlling Software Projects: management measurement and estimation”. Yourdon, New York.Google Scholar
  8. Heemstra, F.J. (1989) “Hoe duur is programmatuur”. Kluwer, Deventer.Google Scholar
  9. Jeffery, D.R. (1987a) “Time-sensitive cost models in commercial MIS environments”. IEEE Trans of Software Engineering, SE-13, 7.Google Scholar
  10. Jeffery, D.R. (1987b) “The relationship between team size, experience, and attitudes and software development productivity”. IEEE COMPSAC’87.Google Scholar
  11. Kitchenham, B.A. and Taylor, N.R. (1985) “Software project development cost estimation”. The Journal of Systems and Software, no. 5.Google Scholar
  12. MERMAID (1989) “Comparative evaluation of existing cost estimation tools”. ESPRIT II project P2046 MERMAID. Available from: VOLMAC, P.O. Box 2575, 3500 GN Utrecht, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
  13. Putnam, L.H., “A general empirical solution to the macro sizing and estimating problem.” IEEE Trans on Software Engineering, SE-4,1978.Google Scholar
  14. Rook, P., “Survey of Current Cost Estimation Packages”. Proceedings of the European COCOMO User Group meeting 1990, 1990.Google Scholar
  15. Symons, C.R., “Function point analysis difficulties and improvements”. IEEE Transactions on software engineering, volume 14, no. 1, pp. 2 – 11, January 1988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Verner, J.M., Tate, G., Jackson, B. and Hayward, R.G., “Technology dependence in Function Point Analysis: A case study and critical review”. ICSE89,1989.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ECSC, EEC, EAEC, Brussels and Luxembourg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. A. M. Kok
    • 1
  • B. A. Kitchenham
    • 2
  • J. Kirawkowski
    • 3
  1. 1.VOLMACGN UtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.National Computing CentreManchesterUK
  3. 3.University College CorkCorkIreland

Personalised recommendations