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Agent-based modelling of transactive memory systems and knowledge processes in agile versus traditional software development teams.

Corbett , Andrea J. (2013) Agent-based modelling of transactive memory systems and knowledge processes in agile versus traditional software development teams. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.


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The objective of this research is to develop an agent-based model of transactive memory systems (TMS - meta-knowledge of expertise and knowledge in a team) simulating software development teams using two different software development methodologies. Waterfall (a structured methodology with a series of large discrete phases) and the Agile. eXtreme programming (XP - more recent. dynamic, and tuned to change and flexibility). There does exist research relating to TMS; comparisons of software development methodologies; cognitive processes of software development teams; and also agent-based modelling of social and cognitive systems. This is interdisciplinary research spanning psychology and computer science aiming to consolidate these discrete streams of research. The model evaluated the parameters of small/large tasks. and working solo/in pairs to investigate the effect on TMS, knowledge and team output. Over three sirnulaiions. increasing in cognitive realism. the model introduced greater complexity and novelty to the agents work. and various initial conditions of team knowledge and team member familiarity. The results illustrated a number of differences in TMS, knowledge processes and output between XP and Waterfall teams. The main findings indicate that as the novelty and complexity of the task increases the use of some XP techniques can lower the reduction in output. Also the dependence on TMS accuracy for teams using some XP techniques in complex novel environments is high while the team knowledge distribution becomes much more homogenous. This contradicts the literature that asserts a positive relationship between TMS accuracy and knowledge heterogeneity. Results also suggest that XP techniques can compensate for the advantages relating to team members' prior knowledge of each other allowing newly formed X P teams to perform better. The results contribute to understanding how knowledge and memory processes in software development teams affect team output, and how the adoption of XP practices can produce results that, challenge the established TMS literature.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Engineering (Sheffield) > Computer Science (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Computer Science (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.575530
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2017 10:25
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2017 10:25
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/15011

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