This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
A Software Size Model
April 1992 (vol. 18 no. 4)
pp. 265-278

A bottom-up approach to software size estimation is described. It first identifies factors affecting software size, thus obtaining size explanation equations, and then seeks suitable predictors based on those explanation factors which can be used for size estimation. The approach, or model, is bottom-up in that it sizes individual software components or modules first, and then obtains subsystem and system sizes by summing component sizes. Since components may have different purposes and characteristics, the model allows for the partitioning of system components into several different types, each component type having different size explanation and estimation equations. The partitioning is not fixed, but depends on the particular software development technology. The model is applied to several different software systems, including both business applications and systems programs.

[1] T. DeMarco,Controlling Software Projects: Management, Measurement and Estimation. New York: Yourdon, 1982.
[2] Doty Associates Inc., "Software cost estimation study," Rome Air Develop. Ctr., Rome, NY, RADC-TR-77-220, 1977.
[3] C. E. Walston and C. P. Felix, "A method of programming measurement and estimation,"IBM Syst. J., vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 54-73, 1977.
[4] L. H. Putnam, "A general empirical solution to the macro software sizing, and estimation problem,"IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. SE-4, pp. 345-381, July 1978.
[5] F. R. Freiman and R. E. Park, "Price software model-version 3: an overview," inProc. Workshop on Quant. Software Models, 1979, pp. 32-41.
[6] B. W. Boehm,Software Engineering Economics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1981.
[7] H. A. Rubin, "A comparison of cost estimation tools-(a panel session)," inProc. 8th Int. Conf. on Software Eng.(London), Aug. 1985, pp. 174-180.
[8] T. Capers Jones,Programming Productivity. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1986.
[9] S.D. Conte, H.E. Dunsmore, and V.Y. Shen,Software Engineering: Metrics and Models, Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, Calif., 1986.
[10] D. R. Jeffery, "A software development productivity model for MIS environments,"J. Syst. Software, vol. 7, pp. 115-125, 1987.
[11] B. W. Boehm, "Software engineering economics,"IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. SE-10, pp. 4-21, Jan. 1984.
[12] "A descriptive evaluation of software sizing models," prepared for Headquarters USAF/Airforce Cost Ctr., Washington, DC, by IIT Res. Instit., Lanham, MD, Sept. 1987.
[13] A. J. Albrecht, "Measuring application development productivity," inProc. Joint SHARE/GUIDE/IBM Appl. Develop. Symp., Oct. 1979, pp. 83-92.
[14] L. H. Putnam and A. Fitzsimmons, "Estimating software costs,"Datamation, vol. 25, nos. 10-12. Sept.-Nov. 1979.
[15] L. Putnam, "Size planner: an automated sizing model," presented at the 3rd COCOMO User's Group Meet., Pittsburgh, PA, Nov. 1987.
[16] D. J. Reifer, "An introduction RCI's resource estimation tools," presented at the 3rd COCOMO User's Group Meet., Pittsburgh, PA, Nov. 1987.
[17] Software Sizing Model, GJB Associates, Redwood City, CA.
[18] R.N. Britcher and J. E. Gaffner, Jr., "Reliable size estimates for software systems decomposed as state machines," inProc. IEEE COMPSAC'85, Oct. 1985, pp. 9-11.
[19] J. E. Otte, "Parametric software sizing case study," inProc. IEEE COMPSAC'86, pp. 707-710.
[20] C. R. Symons, "Function point analysis: difficulties and improvements,"IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 14, pp. 2-11, Jan. 1988.
[21] J. Verner, "A generalized model for software size estimation," Ph.D. thesis, Massey Univ. (New Zealand), 1989.
[22] A. J. Albrecht and J. E. Gaffney, Jr., "Software function, source lines of code, and development effort prediction: a software science validation,"IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. SE-9, pp. 639-648, Nov. 1983.
[23] K. Zwanzig, Ed.,Handbook for Estimating Using Function Points, GUIDE Project DP-1234 GUIDE Int., Nov. 1984.
[24] SPQR/20 User's Guide, Software Productivity Res., Inc. (SPR), 1986.
[25] J. Verner, G. Tate, B. Jackson, and R. Hayward, "Technology dependence in function point analysis: a case study and critical review," inProc. 11th ICSE Conf.(Pittsburgh, PA), May 1989, pp. 378-382.
[26] J. W. Bailey and V. R. Basili, "A meta-model for software development resource expenditures," inProc. 5th Int. Conf. on Software Eng., Mar. 1981, pp. 107-116.
[27] A. J. Albrecht, "AD/M productivity measurement and estimate validation--Draft," IBM Corp. Info. Syst. and Admin., AD/M Improvement Program, Purchase, NY, May 1984.
[28] J. Verner and G. Tate, "Estimation of size and effort for a fourth-generation development,"IEEE Software, pp. 15-22, July 1988.
[29] ALL User's Reference Manual Version 1.0, Microdata Computers (Holdings) Ltd., Jan. 1985.
[30] W. E. Demming,Sample Design in Business Research. New York: Wiley, 1960.
[31] "Example A--business analysis and system design specifications for an inventory control and purchasing system," inProc. IFIP Work. Group 8.1, Case Study Spec. for Comput. Assist. During Syst. Life Cycle, Sept. 1987, pp. A-1-A-33, for CRIS '88, Sept. 1988.
[32] P.P. Chen, "The entity relationship approach to logical data base design," inData Base Management(QED Monograph Series, no. 6). QED Info. Sci., Inc., 1977.
[33] C. Gane and T. Sarson,Structured Systems Analysis: Tools and Techniques. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979.
[34] P. Bieleski, "Flowcharting revisited," inProc. New Zealand Comput. Soc. Conf., 1981, pp. 123-139.
[35] Micro Focus Level II COBOL Version 1.1 Language Reference Manual, Micro Focus Ltd., 1983.
[36] Informix 4GL Version 1.10, Reference Manual, vols. 1&2, Informix Software Inc., 1987.
[37] COSMOS, Inc. Advanced Revelation--Technical Reference, Cosmos, Inc., 1987.
[38] Microsoft®MS-DOS®User's Guide, Microsoft Corp., 1986.
[39] G. Tate and J. Verner, "Software sizing and costing models: a survey of empirical validation and comparison studies,"J. Info. Techn., vol. 5, pp. 12-26, 1990.
[40] G. Tate and J. Verner, "Approaches to measuring size of application products with CASE tools,"Info. Software Techn., vol. 33, no. 9, Nov. 1991.
[41] C.F. Kemerer, "An empirical validation of software cost estimation models,"Commun. ACM, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 416-429, May 1987.

Index Terms:
software metrics; bottom-up approach; software size estimation; software development technology; business applications; systems programs; project engineering; software engineering; software metrics
J. Verner, G. Tate, "A Software Size Model," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 265-278, April 1992, doi:10.1109/32.129216
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.