Using Grey Relational Analysis to Predict Software Effort with Small Data Sets

Qinbao Song, Martin Shepperd, Carolyn Mair

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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The inherent uncertainty of the software development process presents particular challenges for software effort prediction. We need to systematically address missing data values, feature subset selection and the continuous evolution of predictions as the project unfolds, and all of this in the context of data-starvation and noisy data. However, in this paper, we particularly focus on feature subset selection and effort prediction at an early stage of a project. We propose a novel approach of using Grey Relational Analysis (GRA) of Grey System Theory (GST), which is a recently developed system engineering theory based on the uncertainty of small samples. In this work we address some of the theoretical challenges in applying GRA to feature subset selection and effort prediction, and then evaluate our approach on five publicly available industrial data sets using stepwise regression as a benchmark. The results are very encouraging in the sense of being comparable or better than other machine learning techniques and thus indicate that the method has considerable potential.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication11th IEEE International Software Metrics Symposium (Metrics'05), Como, Italy, September 2005.
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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