Elementary structures in entity-relationship diagrams: a new metric for effort estimation
Proceedings 1996 International Conference Software Engineering: Education and Practice
The Department of Information Science is one of six departments that make up the School of Business at the University of Otago. The department offers courses of study leading to a major in Information Science within the BCom, BA and BSc degrees. In addition to undergraduate teaching, the department is also strongly involved in postgraduate research programmes leading to MCom, MA, MSc and PhD degrees. Research projects in spatial information processing, connectionist-based information systems,
... ormation systems, software engineering and software development, information engineering and database, software metrics, distributed information systems, multimedia information systems and information systems security are particularly well supported. Abstract Elsewhere Kennedy describes three elementary structures to be found in entity-relationship diagrams. Here, each of these structures is considered in the context of a transaction processing system and a specific set of components that can be associated with the structure is described. Next, an example is given illustrating the use of elementary structures as an analytical tool for data modelling and a diagnostic tool for the identification of errors in the resulting data model. It is conjectured that the amount of effort associated with each structure can be measured. A new approach for the estimation of the total effort required to develop a system, based on a count of the elementary structures present in the entity-relationship diagram, is then proposed. The approach is appealing because it can be automated and because it can be applied earlier in the development cycle than other estimation methods currently in use. The question of a suitable counting strategy remains open.