When Good Models Meet Bad Data: Applying Quantitative Economic Models to Qualitative Engineering Judgments

Authors: Shawn Butler, Somesh Jha, and Mary Shaw

Position paper for the Second Workshop on Economics-Driven Software Engineering Research (EDSER-2), affiliated with the 22nd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2000).

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We have been attempting to apply financial portfolio analysis techniques to the task of selecting an application-appropriate suite of security technologies from the technologies available in the marketplace. The problem structures are sufficiently similar that the intuitive guidance is encouraging. However, the analysis techniques of portfolio analysis assume precise quantitative data of a sort that we cannot realistically expect to obtain for the security applications. This will be a common challenge in applying quantitative economic models to software engineering problems, and we consider ways to address the mismatch.

Brought to you by the Composable Software Systems Research Group in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

[Last modified 23-July-2001.
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