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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Project Estimation - Decomposition techniques - Estimating the software size

In the estimation of software cost and effort, many variables that include human, technical, environmental, political can affect final cost and effort applied to software. It is a complex process. Decomposing the problem and re-characterization it into a set of smaller problems is an approach for software project estimation.

Decomposition approach has two point of views :
- problem decomposition
- process decomposition

Before estimating, estimating the size of the software is very important. The size of the software to be built can be estimated using lines of code which is a direct measure or through function point which is an indirect measure. Estimating software size is a major challenge. Size is the quantifiable outcome of software project.

Approaches to sizing problems are:
- Fuzzy logic sizing: Identify the application, its magnitude and refining the magnitude within original range.
- Function point sizing: Estimates of information domain characteristics are developed.
- Standard component sizing: The number of occurrences of each standard component
is estimated and project data is used to calculate the delivered size per standard component.
- Change sizing: Suppose an existing software is modified in some way. In this approach, the number and type of modifications are estimated.

These approaches were suggested by Putnam and Myers.

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