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Type: Journal article
Title: Comparing distributed and face-to-face meetings for software architecture evaluation: a controlled experiment
Author: Babar, M.
Kitchenham, B.
Jeffery, R.
Citation: Empirical Software Engineering, 2008; 13(1):39-62
Publisher: Springer US
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1382-3256
Statement of
Muhammad Ali Babar, Barbara Kitchenham, Ross Jeffery
Abstract: Scenario-based methods for evaluating software architecture require a large number of stakeholders to be collocated for evaluation meetings. Collocating stakeholders is often an expensive exercise. To reduce expense, we have proposed a framework for supporting software architecture evaluation process using groupware systems. This paper presents a controlled experiment that we conducted to assess the effectiveness of one of the key activities, developing scenario profiles, of the proposed groupware-supported process of evaluating software architecture. We used a cross-over experiment involving 32 teams of three 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students. We found that the quality of scenario profiles developed by distributed teams using a groupware tool were significantly better than the quality of scenario profiles developed by face-to-face teams (p < 0.001). However, questionnaires indicated that most participants preferred the face-to-face arrangement (82%) and 60% thought the distributed meetings were less efficient. We conclude that distributed meetings for developing scenario profiles are extremely effective but that tool support must be of a high standard or participants will not find distributed meetings acceptable.
Keywords: Architecture evaluation; Process improvement; Controlled experiments; Groupware support; Scenario development
Rights: © Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007
RMID: 0030008087
DOI: 10.1007/s10664-007-9052-6
Appears in Collections:Computer Science publications

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