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Model Clash Analysis

Lead Personnel: TBD

Objectives: Develop principles and techniques that project personnel can use to identify, analyze, avoid, or cope with clashes among their project's process, product, property, and success models.

Approach: Characterize model clashes as incompatibilities among the assumptions made by a project's process, product, property, and success models. Identify and analyze assumption incompatibilities among widely used models, for example:

  • Sequential waterfall process model assumption: The project’s requirements are developed first and define the capabilities of the delivered product.
  • COTS-based product model assumption: The capabilities provided by the selected COTS vendors provide the de facto definition of those aspects of the project's requirements.

Organize common assumption incompatibilities into tables enabling project personnel to identify their project's most likely model clashes. Identify or develop techniques for avoiding or coping with the model clashes. Analyze model clash data from failed software, projects and the e-services projects; experience base to identify most-frequent and highest-risk model clashes. Develop a web-based tool to help project personnel identify, analyze, avoid, or cope with model clashes.

Results:

  1. B. Boehm and D. Port, "Escaping the Software Tar Pit: Model Clashes and How to Avoid Them," ACM Software Engineering Notes, January 1999, pp. 36-48.
  2. B. Boehm and D. Port, "When Models Collide: Lessons from Software Systems Analysis," IEEE IT Professional, Jan/Feb. 1999, pp. 49-56.
  3. B. Boehm, D. Port, and M. Al-Said, "Avoiding the Model Clash Spiderweb," IEEE Computer, November 2000, pp. 120-122.
  4. M. Al-Said, "Value Model-Clash Analysis," USC-CSE Annual Research Review Presentation, March 2003.

  5. M. Al-Said, Ph.D. Dissertation, Identifying, Analyzing, and Avoiding Software Model Clashes, USC CS Department, 2003 (to append).

Future Plans:
Incorporate model clash results into MBASE Guidelines.
Extend model clash analysis to other data sources such as the DOD Tri-Service Assessment Initiative database.