Monday, October 6, 2008

An Integrated Cost Model for Product Line Engineering

Today, we will publish in this blog one more M.Sc. dissertation defended in our group.

Jarley Nobrega's dissertation presents a relevant contribution for the field defining an economic model for software product lines.

Here is the abstract of the work:

In the software development community, the process of using existing artifacts rather than building them from scratch – generally known as software reuse – has been advanced as a way in which the problems associated with cost and schedule overruns can be avoided. Despite the potential rewards from an effective reuse program, it appears that its large-scale adoption is not particularly prevalent. Among the factors that inhibit reuse adoption there are the economic obstacles faced by organizations, which are concerned with the cost related to develop software for reuse and with reuse. Currently, thedecisions concerning large-scale reuse are often related with an economic viewpoint, since the development of software to be reusable can be considered as an investment. Moreover, the adoption of a software product line in a reuse context comes up with some inhibitors, such as the application of cost models in a restricted way, the lack of an investment analysis strategy, and the fact that a few cost models have a reuse scenario-based approach.

In this context, this work presents an integrated cost model for product line engineering in order to help the decisions concerning reuse investment. The foundations of the model were based on an extensive survey on cost models for software reuse and its extension to the product line approach. The model presents the definition of a set of cost and benefits functions, the description of reuse scenarios for product line engineering, and an investment analysis strategy. In addition, a simulation model based on the Monte Carlo method was proposed for simulating the reuse scenarios.

Finally, this work discusses the results of a case study in the context of a real software development environment where the model was applied.

See the full document here.

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