Open Hybrid Model: A New Ensemble Model for Software Development Cost Estimation

keywords: Development cost estimation, firefly algorithm, software project
Given various features of a software project, it may face different administrative challenges requiring right decisions by software project managers. A major challenge is to estimate software development cost for which different methods have been proposed by many researchers. According to the literature, the capability of a proposed model or method is demonstrated in a specific set of software projects. Hence, the aim of this study is to present a model to take advantage of the capabilities of various software development cost estimation models and methods simultaneously. For this purpose, a new model called ``open hybrid model'' was proposed based on the firefly algorithm. The proposed model includes an extensible bank of estimation methods. The model also includes an extensible bank of rules to describe the relation between existing methods. Considering project conditions, the proposed model tries to find the best rule for combining estimation methods in the methods bank. Three datasets of real projects were used to evaluate the precision of the proposed model, and the results were compared with those of other 11 methods. The results were compared based on performance parmeters widely used to show the accuracy and stability of estimation models. According to the results, the open hybrid model was able to select the most appropriate methods present in the methods bank.
reference: Vol. 39, 2020, No. 6, pp. 1148–1171