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A complexity theory viewpoint on the software development process and situational context

Clarke, Paul and O'Connor, Rory and Leavy, Brian (2016) A complexity theory viewpoint on the software development process and situational context. In: International Workshop on Software and Systems Process (ICSSP 2016), 14-15 May 2016, Austin, TX.. ISBN 978-1-4503-4188-2

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Abstract

The research literature informs us that a software development process should be appropriate to its software development context but there is an absence of explicit guidance on how to achieve the harmonization of a development process with the corresponding situational context. Whilst this notion of harmonization may be intuitively appealing, in this paper we argue that interaction between a software development process and its situational context is an instance of a complex system. In Complexity Theory, complex systems consist of multiple agents that interact in a multitude of diverse ways, with system outcomes being non-deterministic. Complex systems are therefore noted to be difficult to control, such as is the case with many software development endeavors. If the interaction of software processes with situational contexts is representative of a complex system, then we should not be surprised that the task of software development has proven so resistant to attempts to produce generalized software processes. We should also seek to ameliorate the software development challenge through the adoption of techniques recommended for use in managing complex systems, not as a replacement for the many software process approaches presently in use, but as complement that can aid the task of process definition and evolution.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Event Type:Conference
Refereed:Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords:Software Development Process; Software Development Context; Complexity Theory; Software Process Optimization
Subjects:Computer Science > Computer software
Computer Science > Software engineering
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > DCU Business School
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Computing
Published in:ICSSP '16 Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software and Systems Process. . Association for Computing Machinery. ISBN 978-1-4503-4188-2
Publisher:Association for Computing Machinery
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2904354.2904369
Copyright Information:© ACM, 2016. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in 'ICSSP '16 Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software and Systems Process' http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2904354.2904369
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:21317
Deposited On:03 Aug 2016 11:23 by Fran Callaghan. Last Modified 03 Aug 2016 11:29

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