A Market-Based Approach to Software Evolution

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A Market-Based Approach to Software Evolution

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Title: A Market-Based Approach to Software Evolution
Author: Bacon, David F.; Chen, Yiling; Parkes, David C.; Rao, Malvika

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Bacon, David F., Yiling Chen, David C. Parkes, and Malvika Rao. 2009. A market-based approach to software evolution. In Proceedings of the 24th ACM SIGPLAN conference companion on Object oriented programming systems languages and applications: October 25–29, 2009, Orlando, Florida, USA, 973-980. New York: ACM Press.
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Abstract: Software correctness has bedeviled the field of computer science since its inception. Software complexity has increased far more quickly than our ability to control it, reaching sizes that are many orders of magnitude beyond the reach of formal or automated verification techniques.

We propose a new paradigm for evaluating "correctness" based on a rich market ecosystem in which coalitions of users bid for features and fixes. Developers, testers, bug reporters, and analysts share in the rewards for responding to those bids. In fact, we suggest that the entire software development process can be driven by a disintermediated market-based mechanism driven by the desires of users and the capabilities of developers.

The abstract, unspecifiable, and unknowable notion of absolute correctness is then replaced by quantifiable notions of correctness demand (the sum of bids for bugs) and correctness potential (the sum of the available profit for fixing those bugs). We then sketch the components of a market design intended to identify bugs, elicit demand for fixing bugs, and source workers for fixing bugs. The ultimate goal is to achieve a more appropriate notion of correctness, in which market forces drive software towards a correctness equilibrium in which all bugs for which there is enough value, and with low enough cost to fix, are fixed.
Published Version: doi:10.1145/1639950.1640066
Other Sources: http://www.eecs.harvard.edu/econcs/pubs/bacon09.pdf
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4340769
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