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A took at Japan's Development of Software Engineering Technology Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131600D
Original Publication Date: 1983-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 17 page(s) / 58K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

K. H. Kim: AUTHOR [+3]


University of South Florida

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A took at Japan's Development of Software Engineering Technology

K. H. Kim,

University of South Florida

By 1990, Japan's software engineering technology may rival that of the US and Europe. Its previous successes in computer hardware lend credibility to this national R&D goal.

During the 1960's software emerged as a dominant factor in determining computer system costs; in industrialized countries its cost increased so rapidly that the term "software crisis" was coined in the late 60's. This trend continued into the 70's despite massive R&D efforts to advance software engineering technology. Today, according to one estimate, US companies spend over $10 billion on external software, and software is ex pected to become a $38 billion industry by 1986. ~ But the software industry in the United States still suffers tremendously from insufficient reliability and poor maintainability of software products, frequent overruns in development costs, and high rates of personnel turnover.

Japan, on the other hand, achieved such phenomenal technological advances throughout the 60's and 70's that the productivity of its workforce and the quality control of its companies have become favorite topics of many in dustrial analysts. Naturally, people have begun tc wonder if Japan will surpass the United States in thi computer field, one of the few areas where the Unitec States has maintained a technological edge. The evidencr suggests that Japan's computer hardware technology i' already on a par with that of the United States: th~ Japanese now dominate the 64K-RAM market and leac in the 256K-RAM market, and the Japanese governmen' reports that in 1980 computer and semiconductor sale~ reached $5 billion each.'

Currently, Japan is trying to extend its successful experience in technology buildup via national R&D projects to the software area. The intent of the Fifth- Generation Computer System project, in particular, is to push Japan to the forefront of computer system technology by 1990.3-5 The government plans to pour $45 million into the 5G project during the first three years, 1982-84, and total project cost might reach several billion dollars. The project involves R&D talent from government agencies, industries, and universities and deals with several key technologies, including software engineering.

To examine the state of the art in software engineering, I visited Japan in September 1981, under the sponsorship of the University of South Florida and the Tokyo branch of the Office of Naval Research. During my nine-day stay, I visite...