This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
Function Points Analysis: An Empirical Study of Its Measurement Processes
December 1996 (vol. 22 no. 12)
pp. 895-910

Abstract—Function point analysis (FPA) was initially designed on the basis of expert judgments, without explicit reference to any theoretical foundation. From the point of view of the measurement scales used in its measurement process, FPA constitutes a pot-pourri of scales not admissible without the transformations imbedded in the implicit models of expert judgments. The results of this empirical study demonstrate that in a homogeneous environment not burdened with major differences in productivity factors there is a clear relationship between FPA' primary components and Work-Effort. This empirical study also indicates that there is such a relationship for each step of the FPA measurement process prior to the mixing of scales and the assignments of weights. Comparisons with FPA productivity models based on weights confirm, on the one hand, that the weights do not add information and, on the other, that the weights are fairly robust and can be used when little historical data is available. The full data set is provided for future studies.

[1] A.J. Albrecht, "Measuring Application Development Productivity," Proc. IBM Applications Development Symp.,Monterey, Calif., Oct.14-17, 1979.
[2] A.J. Albrecht and. J.E. Gaffney, "Software Functions, Source Lines of Code, and Development Effort Prediction: A Software Science Validation," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 9, no. 6, Nov. 1983.
[3] IBM CISGuidelines 313, AD/M Productivity Measurement and Estimate Validation, Nov. 1984.
[4] International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), Function Point Counting Practices Manual, Release 1.0, IFPUG, Westerville, Ohio, 1986.
[5] International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), Function Point Counting Practices Manual, Release 2.0, IFPUG, Westerville, Ohio, 1988.
[6] International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), Function Point Counting Practices Manual, Release 3.0, IFPUG, Westerville, Ohio, Apr. 1990.
[7] International Function Point Users Group (IFPUG), Function Point Counting Practices Manual, Release 4.0, IFPUG, Westerville, Ohio, Jan. 1994.
[8] C. Kemerer, "An Empirical Validation of Software Cost Estimation Models," Comm. ACM, vol. 30, pp. 416-429, May 1987.
[9] C.F. Kemerer, "Function Point Measurement Reliability: A Field Experiment," Proc. IFPUG Fall Conf.,San Antonio, Tex., Oct. 1990.
[10] G.C. Low and R.D. Jeffery,“Function points in the estimation and evaluation of the software process,” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 16, pp. 64-71, Jan. 1990.
[11] E.E. Rudolph, Productivity in Computer Application Development, Dept. of Management Studies, Univ. of Auckland, New Zealand, 1983.
[12] E.E. Rudolph, "Precision of Function Point Counts," Proc. IFPUG 1989 Spring Conf.,San Diego, Calif., Apr. 1989.
[13] C.A. Behrens, "Measuring the Productivity of Computer Systems Development Activities with Function Points," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 9, no. 6, Nov. 1989.
[14] R.D. Emrick, "Software Development Productivity—Second Industry Survey," Proc. IFPUG 1988 Spring Conf.,Dallas, May 1988.
[15] R.D. Emrick, "Further Analysis—Software Development Productivity—Second Industry Survey," Proc. IFPUG Fall Conf.,Montréal, Sept. 1988.
[16] J.E. Gaffney, "The Impact on Software Development Costs of Using HOL's," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 12, no. 3, Mar. 1986.
[17] J.-M. Desharnais, Analyse statistique de la productivitédes projets de développement en informatiqueàpartir de la technique des points de fonction, Maîtrise en informatique de gestion, Universitédu QuébecáMontréal, Dec. 1988.
[18] J.-M. Desharnais, "Adjustment Model for Function Point Scope Factors—A Statistical Study," Proc. IFPUG Spring Conf.,Fla., Apr. 1990.
[19] C. Jones and Capers, "Feature Points (Function Point Logic for Real Time and System Software)," Proc. IFPUG Fall 1988 Conf.,Montreal, Québec, Oct. 1988.
[20] C.R. Symons, “Function Point Analysis: Difficulties and Improvements,” IEEE Trans. on Software Eng., vol. 14, no.1, Jan. 1988.
[21] N.E. Fenton, Software Metrics, A Rigorous Approach. Chapman&Hall, 1991.
[22] H. Zuse, "Software Metrics—Methods to Investigate and Evaluate Software Complexity Measures," Proc. Second Ann. Oregon Workshop on Software Metrics,Portland, Oreg., Mar.19, 1990.
[23] H. Zuse,Software Complexity.Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1991.
[24] A. Abran and P.N. Robillard, "Identification of the Structural Weakness of Function Point Metrics," Proc. Third Ann. Oregon Workshop on Software Metrics,Portland, Mar.18, 1991.
[25] A. Abran, "Function Points: A Study of Their Measurement Processes and Scale Transformations," J. Systems Software, vol. 25, pp. 171-184, 1994.
[26] A. Abran, "Analyse du processus de mesure des points de fonction," PhD. thesis,École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada, Mar. 1994.
[27] L.O. Ejiogu, Software Engineering with Formal Metrics. Boston, Mass.: QED Technical Publishing Group, 1991.
[28] R.D. Banker and C.F. Kemerer, "Scale of Economies in New Software Development," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 15, no. 10, pp. 1,199-1,205, 1989.
[29] F.J. Knaff and J. Sacks, "Software Development Effort Prediction Based on Function Points," Proc. COMPSAC '86,Ill., 1986.
[30] S.G. MacDonell, "Rigor in Software Complexity Measurement Experimentation," J. Systems Software, Oct. 1991.
[31] C.L. Ramsey and V.R. Basili, "An Evaluation of Expert Systems for Software Engineering Management," IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 747-759, June 1989.
[32] B. Kitchenham and C. Jaggers, "State of the Art Survey—vol. 2: Software Metrics," Esprit project P2046: MERMAID, Feb.24, 1989.
[33] B.A. Kitchenham and K. Kansala, “Inter-Item Correlations Among Function Points,” Proc. First Int'l Software Metrics Symp., pp. 11-14, 1993.
[34] Y. Miyazaki, M. Terakado, K. Ozaki, and H. Nozaki, “Robust Regression for Developing Software Estimation Models,” J. Systems and Software, vol. 27, pp. 3-16, 1994.
[35] J.E. Matson, B.E. Barret, and J.M. Mellichamp, “Software Development Cost Estimation Using Function Points,” IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 275–287, Apr. 1994.
[36] R.D. Banker, S.M. Datar, C.F. Kemerer, and D. Zweig, "Software Complexity and Maintenance Costs," Comm. ACM, vol. 36, pp. 81-94, Nov. 1993.

Index Terms:
Function point analysis, productivity models, estimation models, measurement process, functional metrics.
Citation:
Alain Abran, Pierre N. Robillard, "Function Points Analysis: An Empirical Study of Its Measurement Processes," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 22, no. 12, pp. 895-910, Dec. 1996, doi:10.1109/32.553638
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.