Evidence-Based Software Engineering

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Software Engineering Evidence Map

One of the goals of this website is to document secondary studies of software engineering topics. This page classifies SLRs and mapping studies using the knowledge areas defined by the SWEBOK.

CategoryStudiesStudy Details

[S11] A Systematic Review of Cross vs Within Company Cost Estimation Studies

2006, B.A. Kitchenham and E. Mendes and G. Travassos

Source: Systematic literature reviews in software engineering - A systematic literature review

OBJECTIVE - The objective of this paper is to determine under what circumstances individual organisations would be able to rely on cross-company based estimation models.

METHOD - We performed a systematic review of studies that compared predictions from crosscompany models with predictions from within-company models based on analysis of project data.

RESULTS - Ten papers compared cross-company and within-company estimation models, however, only seven of the papers presented independent results. Of those seven, three found that crosscompany models were as good as within-company models, four found cross-company models were significantly worse than within-company models.

Experimental procedures used by the studies differed making it impossible to undertake formal meta-analysis of the results. The main trend distinguishing study results was that studies with small single company data sets (i.e. < 20 projects) that used leaveone-out cross-validation all found that the within-company model was significantly more accurate than the cross-company model.

CONCLUSIONS - The results of this review are inconclusive. It is clear that some organisations would be ill-served by cross-company models whereas others would benefit. Further studies are needed, but they must be independent (i.e. based on different data bases or at least different single company data sets). In addition, experimenters need to standardise their experimental procedures to enable formal meta-analysis.

Software RequirementsS23, S26, S27, S63
Software DesignS1, S25, S31, S38
Software ConstructionS18, S43, S61
Software TestingS10, S17, S28, S62
Software MaintenanceS24, S30
Software Configuration Management -
Software Engineering ManagementM4, S5, S7, S8, S11, S12, S14, S21, S22, S29, S45, S46, S53, S66
Software Engineering ProcessesS3, S41, S47, S49, S50
Software Engineering Tools and MethodsS60, S64, S65
Software QualityM1, S15
Unclassified -