MSWE609 A Quantitative Approach to Engineering Software (UMCP)

Web site:

I. Catalog Description

The engineering of software is presented via a continuous improvement paradigm for software development, using quantitative models of the various software processes, artifacts, and experiences, e.g., resources, defects. Software improvement and assessment paradigms are discussed. Experimentation, model building, and measurement approaches are presented. NOTE: MSWE students may not enroll in CMSC 735 for credit.

Prerequisites: MSWE607 or permission of instructor

Class will meet in: AVW 3258

Instructor: Dr. Marvin V. Zelkowitz
4121 AVW
Office hours: Wednesday 10-11; Thursday 2:00-3:00
Best contact: Email to

Schedule: Class meets on Wednesdays from 7pm - 10pm from September 1 through December 15 (final is on December 15). There is no class November 24, 1999.

II. Grading Criteria

III. Class organization

We are supposed to meet for 150 minutes per week for 14 sessions, so schedule will be:
Approximately 75 minutes -- Lecture
10 minutes -- Break
Approximately 75 minutes -- Lecture or, depending on week, group discussions/lab period

Class will officially end around 9:45pm. You may need to spend additional time after class working with your group.

IV. Course contents

No textbook is required. Various readings will be distributed in class or available through this web page. For references from easily accessible journals (Communications of the ACM, IEEE Software, IEEE Computer, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering) you are expected to obtain your own copy. Many of you or your colleagues should already get some or all of these, a good company technical library should have them, and they are available in the University of Maryland libraries.

This course is similar to CMSC 735 taught by Prof. Victor Basili. Additional information relevant to MSWE 609 can be found on the CMSC 735 web page. In particular, the set of pdf slides on that web page provide a good basis for the material that will be covered in MSWE 609, although the emphasis and selection of certain topics will be different.

Information from the Fall 1997 CMSC 735 may also be helpful.

A review of the material in the MSWE 607 course taught in 1998 might be of some help.

DateTopicSlides or handouts Readings
September 1 Introduction to measurement Introduction(PDF file) Experimental validation models (PDF file) Basili Notes -Chapter 1

M. V. Zelkowitz and D. R. Wallace, Experimental models for validating computer technology, IEEE Computer 31, 5 (May, 1998) 23-31.

September 8 Technology transfer and measurement models Models and measures(PDF file) Resource models and measures(PDF file) Technology transfer(PDF file) Basili Notes - Chapter 2

Basili Notes - Chapter 7

S. Redwine and W. Riddle, Software technology maturation, 8th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, London, (August 1985) 189-200.

M. V. Zelkowitz, Software engineering technology infusion within NASA, IEEE Trans. on Eng. Mgmt. 43(3), August, 1996, 250-261 (PDF).

September 15Resource and change measures Cost estimation models (PDF file), Change models and measures(PDF file - only look at change and defect slides), Basili Notes - Chapter 5

B. W. Boehm, Software engineering economics, IEEE Trans. Soft. Eng. 10(1), January 1984, 4-21.

September 22Product measures Product measures (PDF - Updated 9/21/99) Basili Notes - Chapter 6
September 29Process models and metrics Process models (PDF - updated 9/17/99)
October 6OO and OO metrics OO models and measures(PDF file - Updated 9/21/99) Part 2(PDF file - Updated 9/28/99) Chidamber S. A. and C. F. Kemerer, A metric suite for object oriented design, Transactions on Software Engineering 20, 6 (June, 1994) 476-493.
October 13 Goals Questions Metrics Measurement frameworks (PDF file - Updated 2/page 10/13/99) Basili Notes - Chapter 3

Basili Notes - Chapter 4

V. Basili, G. Caldiera and D. Rombach, The Goal Question Metric Approach. Encyclopedia of Software Engineering. Wiley 1994 (PDF).

Examples of GQM:
Martin Sheppard, Bournemouth, UK
Fuggetta industrial example

October 20Midterm exam (75 minutes) - through Oct. 6 material Midterm (Answers) NASA IVV summary and class project description (PDF - 10/20/99) N. Schneidewind, How to evaluate legacy system maintenance, IEEE Software, July, 1998, 34-42.
October 27Perspective-based reading and observational studies Requirements reading(pdf) Requirements reading - part 2(pdf) Observational studies(pdf) Perspective Based reading paper by Basili, et al.
November 3Experience Factory Organizational frameworks(pdf) Basili Notes - Chapter 8

V. Basili, G. Caldiera and D. Rombach, The Experience Factory. Encyclopedia of Software Engineering. Wiley 1994 (PDF).

November 10Resource studies Resource Studies R. Tesoriero and M. Zelkowitz, A Comparison of Techniques for Extracting Information from Software Project Data (pdf)
November 17OO reading Detecting errors in OO design; OO requirements reading
November 24No class ThanksgivingBreak
December 1 Experimentation Experimentation I Experimentation II
December 8Establishing a measurement program Establishing measurement program(pdf)
December 15Final

V. References

The following list of supplementary references may provide additional information relevant to the course:

Prepared by: Marvin Zelkowitz

Last Change: July 3, 2003