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The COCOMO Model

(Photo: Princeton University, Office of Communications)


- The Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO)

The COCOMO model (Construction Cost Model) is the cornerstone of software project estimation. The model measures effort, duration, and price to adapt to changing software complexity.

The COCOMO model is a software cost estimation model that estimates the effort, time, cost, and quality of a proposed software project. It's based on the number of lines of code (LOC) required to develop the system. 

The COCOMO model, proposed by Dr. Barry Boehm, can accurately estimate the resources, time, and cost required for a software development project. It works on the principle that different software projects have different levels of complexity and characteristics, which affect the amount of effort and resources required.

The COCOMO model also considers other aspects, such as: Project attributes, Hardware, Assessment of produce, Team capability, Development environment, Product complexity. 

The COCOMO model has three stages: 

  • Stage-I: Supports estimation of prototyping
  • Stage-II: Supports estimation in the early design stage of the project
  • Stage-III: Supports estimation in the post architecture stage of a project 


- Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

A cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) compares the cost and effectiveness of a program to determine if its value justifies its cost. It's also known as cost utility analysis. 

CEA can be used in many applications. For example, TreeAge Pro calculates the Incremental Cost-Effectiveness Ratio (ICER) between pairs of strategies. The ICER is the ratio of the incremental cost versus the incremental effectiveness. 

Here are some software options for CEA: 

  • SpiceLogic Decision Tree Software: Allows CEA targeting healthcare disciplines
  • hesim: Provides functions for using simulated costs and quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) from a probabilistic sensitivity analysis (PSA)
  • Online Cost-Effectiveness ANalysis (OCEAN): Provides an easy-to-use web interface to conduct CEA

CEA differs from cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in that CEA only assigns monetary values to the costs, while CBA assigns monetary values to both the benefits and the costs.


- Multiple-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) 

Multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a process for evaluating options with multiple criteria. It's also known as multi-criteria decision-making (MCDM).

MCDA is a decision-making tool that helps people and organizations make informed choices when faced with complex and conflicting factors. It's similar to a cost-benefit analysis but evaluates numerous criteria, rather than just cost. 

MCDA can be used in many fields, including daily life, business, government, and medicine. For example, MCDA can be used to compare medical technologies by combining individual criteria into one overall appraisal. 

The general steps of multi-criteria decision-making are: 

  • Problem formulation
  • Identify the requirements
  • Set goals
  • Identify various alternatives
  • Develop criteria
  • Identify and apply decision-making technique

MCDA is also known by other names, including: 

  • Multi-criteria analysis (MCA)
  • Multi-objective decision analysis (MODA)
  • Multiple-attribute decision-making (MADM)
  • Multi-dimensional decision-making (MDDM)


[More to come ...]



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