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Issue No. 12 - Dec. (2013 vol. 39)
ISSN: 0098-5589
pp: 1698-1713
Tim Menzies , West Virginia University, Morgantown
Adam Brady , West Virginia University, Morgantown
Jacky Keung , The City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Jairus Hihn , California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
Steven Williams , Indiana University, Bloomington
Oussama El-Rawas , West Virginia University, Morgantown
Phillip Green , West Virginia University, Morgantown
Barry Boehm , University of Southern California, Los Angeles
ABSTRACT
Background: Given information on just a few prior projects, how do we learn the best and fewest changes for current projects? Aim: To conduct a case study comparing two ways to recommend project changes. 1) Data farmers use Monte Carlo sampling to survey and summarize the space of possible outcomes. 2) Case-based reasoners (CBR) explore the neighborhood around test instances. Method: We applied a state-of-the data farmer (SEESAW) and a CBR tool ($({\cal W}2)$) to software project data. Results: CBR with $({\cal W}2)$ was more effective than SEESAW's data farming for learning best and recommended project changes, effectively reducing runtime, effort, and defects. Further, CBR with $({\cal W}2)$ was comparably easier to build, maintain, and apply in novel domains, especially on noisy data sets. Conclusion: Use CBR tools like $({\cal W}2)$ when data are scarce or noisy or when project data cannot be expressed in the required form of a data farmer. Future Work: This study applied our own CBR tool to several small data sets. Future work could apply other CBR tools and data farmers to other data (perhaps to explore other goals such as, say, minimizing maintenance effort).
INDEX TERMS
Data models, Project management, Search methods, Monte Carlo methods, Mathematical model, Software engineering
CITATION

T. Menzies et al., "Learning Project Management Decisions: A Case Study with Case-Based Reasoning versus Data Farming," in IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 39, no. 12, pp. 1698-1713, 2013.
doi:10.1109/TSE.2013.43
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