Trust yourself! or maybe not: Factors related to overconfidence and uncertainty assessments of software effort estimates

Patricia Matsubara, Igor Steinmacher, José Maldonado, Bruno Gadelha, Tayana Conte

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Software effort estimates are uncertain, given that they are probabilistic assessments of the future. Evaluating their uncertainty involves assigning them an appropriate confidence level and is paramount for satisfying commitments in software projects. However, estimators tend to be overconfident about their estimates, hampering the accuracy of their uncertainty assessments. Our research goal is to identify the factors related to overconfidence and uncertainty assessments in software estimation. To do so, we carried out a Systematic Literature Mapping (SLM), based on automated and snowballing searches. Our findings include eight factors related to overconfidence and uncertainty assessment. Some of them resulted in unexpected implications for practice. We also identified valuable and easy-to-use metrics that software practitioners can apply smoothly in their daily practice. Additionally, very few field and respondent studies exist about the topic. The software engineering area can significantly benefit from investigating how much practitioners know about the overconfidence effect, as well as of a better comprehension of the perceived importance, practices, and accuracy of uncertainty assessments in the software industry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCBSOFT 2021 - Brazilian Conference on Software; Proceedings - 35th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2021
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages452-461
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781450390613
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 27 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event35th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2021, held in conjunction with the Brazilian Conference on Software: Theory and Practice, CBSoft 2021 - Virtual, Online, Brazil
Duration: Sep 29 2021Oct 1 2021

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Conference

Conference35th Brazilian Symposium on Software Engineering, SBES 2021, held in conjunction with the Brazilian Conference on Software: Theory and Practice, CBSoft 2021
Country/TerritoryBrazil
CityVirtual, Online
Period9/29/2110/1/21

Keywords

  • Overconfidence
  • Software effort estimation
  • Uncertainty assessments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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