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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 8, numbers 1 and 2, 2015 // View article soft_v8_n12_2015_21


A Study on the Difficulty of Accounting for Data Processing in Functional Size Measures

Authors:
Luigi Lavazza
Sandro Morasca
Davide Tosi

Keywords: functional size measurement; Function Point Analysis; IFPUG Function Points;COSMIC method

Abstract:
The most popular Functional Size Measurement methods adopt a concept of “functionality” that is based mainly on the data involved in functions and data movements. Functional size measures are often used as a basis for estimating the effort required for software development. However, Functional Size Measurement does not take directly into consideration the amount of data processing involved in a process, even though it is well-known that development effort does depend on the amount of data processing code to be written. Thus, it is interesting to investigate to what extent the most popular functional size measures represent the data processing features of requirements and, consequently, the amount of data processing code to be written. To this end, we consider three applications that provide similar functionality, but require different amounts of data processing. These applications are then measured via a few Functional Size Measurement methods and traditional size measures (such as Lines of Code). A comparison of the obtained measures shows that differences among the applications are best represented by differences in Lines of Code. It is likely that the actual size of an application that requires substantial amounts of data processing is not fully represented by functional size measures. In summary, the paper shows that not taking into account data processing dramatically limits the expressiveness of the functional size measures. Practitioners that use size measures for effort estimation should complement functional size measures with measures that quantify data processing, to obtain precise effort estimates.

Pages: 276 to 287

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2015. Used with permission.

Publication date: June 30, 2015

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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