The Abstraction Refinement Model and the Modification-Cost Problem
Keller, Benjamin J.
Nance, Richard E.
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A problem common to systems and software engineering is that of estimating the cost of making changes to a system. For system modifications that include changes to the design history of the system this is the "modification-cost" problem. A solution to this problem is important to planning changes in large systems engineering projects. In this paper, a cost model based on the Abstraction Refinement Model (ARM) is proposed as a framework for deriving solutions to the modification-cost problem. The ARM is a characterization of software evolution that is also applicable to general systems. Modifications to systems and their design histories are described using the components of the ARM. The cost model is defined by functions on the ARM components. The derived solution is given by an abstract expression of the cost functions.