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STRATOS: Using Visualization to Support Decisions in Strategic Software Release Planning

This is a completed project.

Software is typically developed incrementally and released in stages. Planning these releases involves deciding which features of the system should be implemented for each release. This is a complex planning process involving numerous constraints and factors—trade-offs that often make decisions difficult. Since the success of a product depends on this plan, it is important to understand the trade-offs between different release plans and to make an informed choice. We present STRATOS, a tool that visualizes several optimized software release plans simultaneously. The visualization shows several attributes about each plan that are important to planners. Multiple plans are shown in a single layout to help planners find and understand the trade-offs between different plans. We evaluated our tool via a qualitative study, finding that STRATOS enables a range of decision-making processes, and ultimately helping our participants optimize their planning.