In this paper, we investigate the existence of learning curves in software development. Under the assumption of independent and identical distribution (iid) of programmer's experience and identical effort-experience learning curve relationship for different programmers, we illustrate the existence of an exponentially decreasing learning curve relationship between a programmer's effort and his/her ICASE tool experience, and show that the effort-experience relationship is inelastic when a programmer's ICASE tool experience is low. We analyze the impact of our assumptions on actual software development effort, and propose a tight probability upper bound and a central-limit theorem based probability estimator for estimating the approximate probability that the software development effort will be less than or equal to a certain number. Examples to illustrate the use of the probability estimator are also provided.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Computer Science
- Modeling and Simulation
- Management Science and Operations Research
- Information Systems and Management