Designing an Optimal Software Intensive System Acquisition: A Game Theoretic Approach

Designing an Optimal Software Intensive System Acquisition: A Game Theoretic Approach

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The development of schedule-constrained software-intensive space systems is challenging. Case study data from national security space programs developed at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (USAF SMC) provide evidence of the strong desire by contractors to skip or severely reduce software development design and early defect detection methods in these schedule-constrained environments. The research findings suggest recommendations to fully address these issues at numerous levels. However, the observations lead us to investigate modeling and theoretical methods to fundamentally understand what motivated this behavior in the first place. As a result, Madachy's inspection-based system dynamics model is modified to include unit testing and an integration test feedback loop. This Modified Madachy Model (MMM) is used as a tool to investigate the consequences of this behavior on the observed defect dynamics for two remarkably different case study software projects. Latin Hypercube sampling of the MMM with sample distributions for quality, schedule and cost-driven strategies demonstrate that the higher cost and effort quality-driven strategies provide consistently better schedule performance than the schedule-driven up-front effort-reduction strategies. Game theory reasoning for schedule-driven engineers cutting corners on inspections and unit testing is based on the case study evidence and Austin's agency model to describe the observed phenomena. Game theory concepts are then used to argue that the source of the problem and hence the solution to developers cutting corners on quality for schedule-driven system acquisitions ultimately lies with the government. The game theory arguments also lead to the suggestion that the use of a multi-player dynamic Nash bargaining game provides a solution for our observed lack of quality game between the government (the acquirer) and qlarge-corporationq software developers. A note is provided that argues this multi-player dynamic Nash bargaining game also provides the solution to Freeman Dyson's problem, for a way to place a label of good or bad on systems.Projects-B, C, and G all exhibited solid to very rigorous UML designs that included use cases and sequence diagrams. ... the schedule-constrained engineers tasked with developing the software do not welcome the design documentation.

Title:Designing an Optimal Software Intensive System Acquisition: A Game Theoretic Approach
Author:Douglas John Buettner
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008


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