Simulation-Based Stability Analysis for Software Release Plans

  • Dietmar Pfahl
  • Ahmed Al-Emran
  • Günther Ruhe
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3966)


Release planning for incremental software development assigns features to releases such that most important technical, resource, risk and budget constraints are met. The research presented in this paper is based on a three staged procedure. In addition to an existing method for (i) strategic release planning that maps requirements to subsequent releases and (ii) a more fine-grained planning that defines resource allocations for each individual release, we propose a third step, i.e., (iii) stability analysis, which analyzes proposed release plans with regards to their sensitivity to unforeseen changes. Unforeseen changes can relate to alterations in expected personnel availability and productivity, feature-specific task size (measured in terms of effort), and degree of task dependency (measured in terms of work load that can only be processed if corresponding work in predecessor tasks has been completed). The focus of this paper is on stability analysis of proposed release plans. We present the simulation model REPSIM (Release Plan Simulator) and illustrate its usefulness for stability analysis with the help of a case example.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Bagnall, A.J., Rayward-Smith, V.J., Whittley, I.M.: The Next Release Problem. Information and Software Technology 43(14), 883–890 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Denne, M., Cleland-Huang, J.: The Incremental Funding Method: Data Driven Software Development. IEEE Software 21(3), 39–47 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Greer, D.: Decision Support for Planning Software Evolution with Risk Management. In: Proceedings of 16th International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE 2004), Banff, Canada, pp. 503–508 (2004)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Höst, M., Regnell, B., Dag, J., Nedstam, J., Nyberg, C.: Exploring Bootlenecks in Market-Driven Requirements Management Processes with Discrete Event Simulation. Journal of Systems and Software 59(3), 323–332 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jung, H.-W.: Optimizing Value and Cost in Requirements Analysis. IEEE Software, 74–78 (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Karlsson, J., Ryan, K.: A Cost-Value Approach for Prioritizing Requirements. IEEE Software 14(5), 67–74 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ngo-The, A., Ruhe, G.: Optimized Resource Allocation for Incremental Software Development. Technical Report of the Laboratory for Software Engineering Decision Support, Report No. 049/2006 (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Penny, D.A.: An Estimation-Based Management Framework for Enhancive Maintenance in Commercial Software Products. In: Proceedings of International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM 2002), Montreal, Canada, pp. 122–130 (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ruhe, G.: Software Release Planning. In: Handbook of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, vol. 3, pp. 365–394. World Scientific Publishing, Singapore (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ruhe, G., Ngo-The, A.: Hybrid Intelligence in Software Release Planning. International Journal of Hybrid Intelligent Systems 1(2), 99–110 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Saliu, O., Ruhe, G.: Supporting Software Release Planning Decisions for Evolving Systems. In: Proceedings of 29th IEEE/NASA Software Engineering Workshop, Greenbelt, MD, USA, April 6-7 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dietmar Pfahl
    • 1
  • Ahmed Al-Emran
    • 1
    • 2
  • Günther Ruhe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Schulich School of EngineeringUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Software Engineering Decision Support LaboratoryUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations