Effort Estimation Based on Data Structures in Entity-relationship Diagrams

G. J. Kennedy (Australia)


Software metrics, effort estimation, data modelling, entityrelationship diagram


This paper proposes a simple method of estimating the effort required to build transaction processing systems. Four basic data structures that occur in entity relation ship diagrams are identified and their existence confirmed by empirical evidence based on fifty projects. A set of heuristics is described to assist the developer to code the diagram in terms of these structures. A model is proposed that associates with each structure a set of implied compo nents, representing the essential components needed to implement a transaction processing system based on that structure. The implied components model is confirmed by empirical evidence based on eighteen projects. Effort estimation is based on a matrix of the implied components. The implied components method requires less effort than other estimation methods and can be applied earlier in the development cycle. The method is validated empirically.

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