The influence of software quality requirements on the suitability of software cost estimation methods

Today I was giving a speech at the 24th International Forum on COCOMO and Systems/Software Cost Modeling held at MIT in Cambridge, MA. I presented the intermediate results I achieved in the research for my master thesis, which is supervised by Dr. Stefan Wagner from TUM and Dr. Ricardo Valerdi from MIT.  Here are the slides, as well as the abstract of the work.



4th of July 2009 in Boston – Neil Diamond Sweet Caroline

This week has been rather busy for me, because I moved from my temporary place in Cambridge to my new place in Somerville. Additionally, this Saturday was the US holiday, the 4th of July.  On the eve of the holiday, I went to the Boston Pops Concert 2009 of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and famous artists; among others Neil Diamond.

On the 4th of July I was lucky to see the fireworks from a roof garden of Stefano’s place; who’s also a visiting student at MIT. I took a few videos of the fireworks and Neil Diamond performing Sweet Caroline.

Neil Diamond performing Sweet Caroline on 4th of July 2009 in Boston

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First weeks in Boston

As I have promised in my previous blog post, I provide you with some pictures of my first two weeks in Boston. In the last couple of days I have already been busy reading lots of papers for my research and didn’t get that much time to explore Boston. Nevertheless, this gallery contains some first impressions of Boston, Cambridge, Harvard University and  the surroundings of MIT.

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New to Boston: Discovering a new city, the MIT and going on a whale watching tour

Hello everybody. It has been a long time since my last blog entry. As a few things changed in my life; so basically I am not staying in Munich any more, but I took a trip over to the US to do research for my master thesis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.  In the weeks to come, I will hopefully find the time to explain you a bit on my ongoing research on software cost estimation models.

I am in Boston for 5 days now, and I had a amazing experience on Sunday. I did a whale watching tour, and I captured two videos which I want to share with you. You can see this huge creatures live in their natural environment.

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Cost/Benefit-Aspects of Software Quality Assurance

As software becomes more and more pervasive, high software quality as well as the ability to perform good software cost estimates become more and more important. It is obvious that business owners want the software to run smoothly, deliver value and obviously, they want to know what building or adapting a software system costs upfront.

This is why, in summer 2008, I took part in a seminar on software quality at the chair of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Manfred Broy, Technische Universität München. I did extensive research on software quality in general and wrote a paper on the Cost/Benefit aspects of Software Quality Assurance, which I want to present you. The paper points out several interesting aspects on how to optimize investments into various software quality assurance techniques and thus into software quality.

Because of the high quality of the papers written by the seminar participants, the seminar supervisors decided to officially publish the results as working paper of the Technische Universität München. You can find the link to the publication in the links-section at the end of this article.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on this paper.

Cost/Benefit-Aspects of Software Quality Assurance – Abstract:

Along with the ever more apparent importance and critically of software systems for modern societies, arises the urgent need to deal efficiently with the quality assurance of these systems. Even though the necessity of investments into software quality should not be underestimated, it seems economically unwise to invest seemingly random amounts of money into quality assurance. The precise prediction of the costs and benefits of various software quality assurance techniques within a particular project allows for economically sound decision-making.

This paper presents the cost estimation models COCOMO, its successor COCOMO II and COUALMO, which is a quality estimation model and has been derived from COCOMO II. Furthermore an analytical idealized model of defect detection techniques is presented. It provides a range of metrics: the return on investment rate (ROI) of software quality assurance for example. The method of ROI calculation is exemplified in this paper.

In conclusion an overview on the debate concerning quality and cost ascertaining in general will be given. Although today there are a number of techniques to verify the cost-effectiveness of quality assurance, the results are thus far often unsatisfactory. Since all known models make heavy use of empirically gained data, it is very important to question their results judiciously and avoid misreadings.

Download the software cost estimation and quality assurance paper:

Cost/Benefit-Aspects of Software Quality Assurance

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FCB – Hoffenheim: Allianz Arena Light-Show

Last friday I went to the top Bundesliga clash FC Bayern – TSG Hoffenheim. The Allianz Arena was sold out and the game was exciting down to the wire. FC Bayern won the game 2:1. After the game there was a spectacular light show which was really worth seeing. I posted a short video of the light show on YouTube which you can see here… enjoy:

SQL Connection Strings

In the last couple of weeks I have been working a lot with different databases which I had to connect to from Java. It is sometime stressful to look up the right format of the connection string to the database. Even though, these strings should, or are meant to be standardized, they are not.

I found this very helpful website which lists the connection strings for open-source as well as professional commercial databases. This list includes among others, the connection strings for Microsoft SQL Server 2008, MySQL, Oracle, IBM DB2, Informix, Postgre SQL, Caché, SQLite, …

As an example, if you want to connect to a server in a replicated server configuration without concern on which server to use, use the following connection string:

Server=serverAddress1, serverAddress2, serverAddress3;Database=myDataBase;

I want to share this information with you, because it can save you a lot of time, looking up those strings in tutorials or in the documentation of the different databases. Continue reading ‘SQL Connection Strings’