Table of Contents
Advances in Software Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 579292, 21 pages
Research Article

The Study of Resource Allocation among Software Development Phases: An Economics-Based Approach

1Caesarea Rothschild Institute for Interdisciplinary Applications of Computer Science, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
2Israeli Center of Excellence, EMC Cooperation, 7 Hamada Street, Herzelia 46733, Israel
3Department of Information Systems, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
4Department of Economics, University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
5Group of Software Performance Analysis Reviews and Quality (SPARQ), IBM Haifa Research Laboratory, Haifa University Campus, Mount Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel
6Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL 61801, USA

Received 10 August 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011

Academic Editor: Gerardo Canfora

Copyright © 2011 Peleg Yiftachel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper presents an economics-based approach for studying the problem of resource allocation among software development phases. Our approach is structured along two parallel axes: theoretical and empirical. We developed a general economic model for analyzing the allocation problem as a constrained profit maximization problem. The model, based on a novel concept of software production function, considers the effects of different allocations of development resources on output measures of the resulting software product. An empirical environment for evaluating and refining the model is presented, and a first exploratory study for characterizing the model's components and developers' resource allocation decisions is described. The findings illustrate how the model can be applied and validate its underlying assumptions and usability. Future quantitative empirical studies can refine and substantiate various aspects of the proposed model and ultimately improve the productivity of software development processes.