Cognitive limits of software cost estimation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper explores the cognitive limits of estimation in the context of software cost estimation. Two heuristics, representativeness and anchoring, motivate two experiments involving psychology students, engineering students, and engineering practitioners. The first experiment, designed to determine if there is a difference in estimating ability in everyday quantities, demonstrates that the three populations estimate with relatively equal accuracy. The results shed light on the distribution of estimates and the process of subjective judgment. The second experiment, designed to explore abilities for estimating the cost of software-intensive systems given incomplete information, shows that predictions by engineering students and practitioners are within 3-12% of each other. The value of this work is in helping better understand how software engineers make decisions based on limited information. The manifestation of the two heuristics is discussed together with the implications for the development of software cost estimation models in light of the findings from the two experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007
Pages117-125
Number of pages9
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Sep 20 2007Sep 21 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings - 1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007

Other

Other1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period9/20/079/21/07

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Software

Cite this

Valerdi, R. (2007). Cognitive limits of software cost estimation. In Proceedings - 1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007 (pp. 117-125). [4343739] (Proceedings - 1st International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, ESEM 2007). https://doi.org/10.1109/ESEM.2007.30