Optimal Resource Allocation for Reducing Software Defects

Posted: 12 Jul 2007

See all articles by Subodha Kumar

Subodha Kumar

Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Sid Sidhartha

Microsoft Corporation

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Software patch management has now assumed tremendous significance and it directly affects the customer opinion about the quality and security of the released product. Hence, software vendors are forced to put in substantial amount of effort for servicing released products, and maintain a fairly regular patch release cycle. The right amount of effort becomes critical to balance the need of developing new products versus fixing old ones. In this paper, we use a control theoretic approach to study the problem of dynamically determining the optimal effort needed for software maintenance by evaluating the cost of finding and fixing bugs versus the cost associated with not releasing the patch. Since these costs are usually non-linear in practice, finding the optimal effort dynamically is non-trivial. Our results show that the initial quality of the released product is an important factor in formulating the optimal strategy. Based on our results, we provide several managerial insights that can be used by software vendors to efficiently allocate resources for software development and maintenance after the product is released.

Keywords: software maintenance, defects, patches, optimal control theory, dynamic optimization

JEL Classification: C61, D61

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Subodha and Sidhartha, Sid, Optimal Resource Allocation for Reducing Software Defects. 16th Annual Workshop on Information Technologies & Systems (WITS). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999551 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.999551

Subodha Kumar (Contact Author)

Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Sid Sidhartha

Microsoft Corporation ( email )

One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052
United States

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