Developing an Automated Procedure for Evaluating Software Development Methodologies and Associated Products


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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


Over the past decade the demand for increasingly complex software systems has risen dramatically [PARD 85]. Recognizing the fact that such systems cannot be developed effectively through ad hoc means, the software engineering community has continued to investigate the fundamental concepts, development methodologies, and automated tools to assist in the software development process. For example, SREM [ALFM 85] and SADT [SOFT 76, ROSD 77] are methodology based environments that focus on supporting particular phases of the software life cycle. SCR [CLEP 84, HENK 78] and DARTS [GOMH 84], on the other hand, are methodologies that emphasize specific goals, e .g ., reducing software development costs and designing real-time systems, respectively. This steady proliferation of design methodologies, however, is not without its price. In particular, users find increasing difficulty in choosing an appropriate methodological approach and recognizing reasonable expectations of a design or development methodology. These concerns motivated an initial research effort that led to a procedural approach for evaluating software development methodologies [ARTJ 86].