Software project effort estimation is frequently seen
as complex and expensive for individual software engineers.
Software production is in a crisis. It suffers from excessive costs.
Software production is often out of control. It has been suggested that
software production is out of control because we do not measure.
You cannot control what you cannot measure. During last decade, a
number of researches on cost estimation have been conducted. The
metric-set selection has a vital role in software cost estimation
studies; its importance has been ignored especially in neural network
based studies. In this study we have explored the reasons of those
disappointing results and implemented different neural network
models using augmented new metrics. The results obtained are
compared with previous studies using traditional metrics. To be able
to make comparisons, two types of data have been used. The first
part of the data is taken from the Constructive Cost Model
(COCOMO'81) which is commonly used in previous studies and the
second part is collected according to new metrics in a leading
international company in Turkey. The accuracy of the selected
metrics and the data samples are verified using statistical techniques.
The model presented here is based on Multi-Layer Perceptron
(MLP). Another difficulty associated with the cost estimation studies
is the fact that the data collection requires time and care. To make a
more thorough use of the samples collected, k-fold, cross validation
method is also implemented. It is concluded that, as long as an
accurate and quantifiable set of metrics are defined and measured
correctly, neural networks can be applied in software cost estimation
studies with success
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