Comparing distributed and face-to-face meetings for software architecture evaluation: A controlled experiment

Babar, Muhammad Ali and Kitchenham, Barbara A. and Jeffery, D. Ross (2008) Comparing distributed and face-to-face meetings for software architecture evaluation: A controlled experiment. Empirical Software Engineering, 13 (1). pp. 39-62. ISSN 1382-3256

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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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title: Empirical Software Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: /dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1700/1712
Subjects:
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > School of Computing & Communications
ID Code: 64500
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 14 May 2013 08:34
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 07:37
URI: https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/64500

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