Performance tuning for machine learning-based software development effort prediction models
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Software development effort estimation is a critical activity of the project management process. In this study, machine learning algorithms were investigated in conjunction with feature transformation, feature selection, and parameter tuning techniques to estimate the development effort accurately and a new model was proposed as part of an expert system. We preferred the most general-purpose algorithms, applied parameter optimization technique (GridSearch), feature transformation techniques (binning and one-hot-encoding), and feature selection algorithm (principal component analysis). All the models were trained on the ISBSG datasets and implemented by using the scikit-learn package in the Python language. The proposed model uses a multilayer perceptron as its underlying algorithm, applies binning of the features to transform continuous features and one-hot-encoding technique to transform categorical data into numerical values as feature transformation techniques, does feature selection based on the principal component analysis method, and performs parameter tuning based on the GridSearch algorithm. We demonstrate that our effort prediction model mostly outperforms the other existing models in terms of prediction accuracy based on the mean absolute residual parameter.
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