Robust Next Release Problem: Handling Uncertainty During Optimization


Uncertainty is inevitable in real world requirement engineering. It has a significant impact on the feasibility of proposed solutions and thus brings risks to the software release plan. This paper proposes a multi-objective optimization technique, augmented with Monte-Carlo Simulation, that optimizes requirement choices for the three objectives of cost, revenue, and uncertainty. The paper reports the results of an empirical study over four data sets derived from a single real world data set. The results show that the robust optimal solutions obtained by our approach are conservative compared to their corresponding optimal solutions produced by traditional Multi-Objective Next Release Problem. We obtain a robustness improvement of at least 18% at a small cost (a maximum 0.0285 shift in the 2D Pareto-front in the unit space). Surprisingly we found that, though a requirement's cost is correlated with inclusion on the Pareto-front, a requirement's expected revenue is not.