Application of fuzzy inference rules to early semi-automatic estimation of activity duration in software project management

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Tan C.H.
Yap K.S.
Ishibuchi H.
Nojima Y.
Yap H.J.
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
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Expert judgment is widely used for activity duration estimation in software project management. While there are both advantages and disadvantages of expert judgment-based estimation, we propose the use of fuzzy inference rules for semi-automatic estimation to reduce the potential negative aspects of the expert judgment-based estimation. Fourteen fuzzy inference rules are introduced to elicit and adjust expert tacit knowledge, and expert judgment-based estimation results are complemented by fuzzy inference rules. The results from expert judgment and fuzzy inference rules are compared with the expert judgment-based approach using surveys and one-on-one interviews with project managers from different disciplines through analyses with data from past software projects. The use of fuzzy inference rules improves the estimation accuracy of the expert judgment-based approach by 39.35%. The proposed approach facilitates the experts to derive a more realistic and reliable activity duration estimation in software project management. © 2014 IEEE.