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EEEGEF 492'17 Inspections


at the International Conference on Software Engineering in Toronto in May 2001 ... 80% of developers practice inspection irregularly or not at all (Johnson [1] ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: EEEGEF 492'17 Inspections

EEE/GEF 492.17Inspections
Royal Military College of Canada Electrical and
Computer Engineering
  • Dr. Diane Kelly
  • 613-541-6031

Dr. Terry Shepard 613-541-6031
This set of slides is based on a tutorial
presented by Dr. Terry Shepard and Dr. Diane
Kelly at the International Conference on
Software Engineering in Toronto in May 2001 under
the heading How to do Inspections When There is
No Time. A summary appears on pp. 718-719 of the
Conference Proceedings.
  • Current Status of Inspection in Industry
  • Fagan Inspections
  • The 3 Ms of Inspection
  • Management
  • Mechanics
  • Metrics
  • Eight Maxims of Inspection

Current Status of Inspection in Industry (1)
  • Informal survey in 1998 80 of developers
    practice inspection irregularly or not at all
    (Johnson 1)
  • A more recent survey (2005) suggests 53 practice
    inspection irregularly or not at all (El Emam
  • not to be regarded as definitive, or even an
    improving situation!
  • Tech bubble peak and bust both happened in that 7
    year period
  • In companies that do inspections, code
    inspections predominate (Laitenberger et al 2)
  • 50 or more of development time spent testing
    debugging (Harrold 47 )

Current Status of Inspection in Industry (2) 25
  • Recommendation to Microsoft to shift focus from
    testing to inspection (Cusumano et al 1995 23)
  • Microsoft practices are changing, but details are
    not known.
  • At best, the state of practice is we inspect our
    key components
  • At worst, its we dont have the time to do
    inspections at all
  • The value of inspection is probably the topic on
    which computing research agrees more consistently
    than any other

Rationale for Inspections
  • The original argument payback on cost of fixes
    (e.g. debugging) leading to improved productivity
  • according to work done by Glen Russell at BNR
    (now Nortel Technologies) in 1991, 65 to 90 of
    operational (execution-time) defects are detected
    by inspection at 1/4 to 2/3 the cost of testing
  • Other arguments for inspection
  • better control of process
  • higher quality
  • reduced defect rates
  • reduced cost of finding defects
  • payback on fixing soft issues (Votta 3)

What makes inspections hard?
  • Mentally demanding
  • Specific skills needed may be in short supply
  • Role of moderator requires special people skills
  • meeting dynamics
  • possible tension between inspectors and product
  • Time pressures
  • squeezed by tight schedules
  • inspection interval problem
  • Attitudes
  • perceived as uninteresting work
  • not glamorous, support role only
  • Lack of ownership
  • who owns the inspection?
  • Unclear goals, multiple goals

Industry Standard Inspection
  • First described by Michael Fagan 1976 30
  • subsequent paper in 1986 31
  • Fagan defines inspection
  • defines a process
  • defines roles for the participants
  • suggests feedback to improve the development
  • Fagan approach to inspections has become an
    industry standard
  • Several variations
  • e.g. Gilb and Graham 4 - next slide

Inspection process from Gilb and Graham -
variation on Fagan
Fagan-style inspections
  • Entry and exit criteria
  • Preparation
  • Moderator
  • Meeting 3-6 people
  • Controlled rate typically 100 to 200 loc/hr
  • rates that are too fast reduce effectiveness,
    while going too slow increases cost with little
  • Controlled meeting length max 2 hours
  • Controlled number of meetings per day max 2
  • Track and report defects found, time spent
  • rate of finding defects per hour, rate per kloc
  • Classify defects

New Approaches
  • Research and industry practice suggest variations
  • goals
  • meetings
  • techniques
  • size of teams
  • entry criteria
  • exit criteria
  • when to inspect
  • activities to include/exclude
  • ...
  • There are better approaches than the commonly
    used Fagan method. 25

The 3 Ms of Inspection
Three Ms of Inspection
  • Management
  • Mechanics
  • Metrics

  • Goals
  • Culture
  • Resources
  • Process

Management goals (1)
  • Management sets goals
  • goals can be related to operations, stock price,
    profits, marketing, product lines, safety,
  • In order for an inspection program to be
    successful --
  • management and development teams must agree on
    the goals
  • goals must be clear, relevant and meaningful

Management goals (2)
  • Goals have to be operationalized and interpreted
  • there are usually difficult choices among
    alternative approaches to operationalization
  • management guides the definition of expected
  • inspection criteria should be based on realistic
  • scope of inspection must be under control
  • Circumstances, and therefore goals, may change
  • flexibility and consistency must be balanced

Setting and evaluating goals
  • One good framework is the Goal/Question/Metric
    paradigm (GQM) developed by Vic Basili
  • Goals can be set at many levels
  • Questions are formulated to determine when
    particular goals are met
  • Metrics are chosen to supply answers (or parts of
    answers) to one or more questions
  • see The Goal/Question/Metric Method A Practical
    Guide For Quality Improvement of Software
    Development, by Rini van Solingen and Egon
    Berghout, McGraw Hill, 1999

GQM example
  • Goal Analyze the final product to characterize
    it with respect to the various defect classes
    from the point of view of the software
    development organization
  • format of goal follows GQM template
  • Sample Question What is the distribution of the
    introduction of errors across all the development
  • Metrics Number of requirements errors, number of
    design errors,

Management culture (1)
  • Culture is made up of qualities like attitudes
    and perceptions, degree of openness, visible and
    hidden rewards and priorities,
  • these determine the likelihood of success of
  • e.g.
  • easier if the culture is open
  • harder if management focus is on visible
    operational goals so that software is relatively
  • is being a good inspector considered a core
    competency in the organization?
  • is there a standing VV group?
  • is the organization willing to invest in
    long-term diversion of resources to inspections?

Management culture (2)
  • Making the case depends on the culture
  • need a champion for all but personal inspections
  • The culture of keeping out of the way
  • managers cant participate as managers,
    especially if they use inspections for evaluation
    of people
  • on the other hand, the president of the company
    can be an inspector
  • there are many other ways to evaluate people

Management resources (1)
  • Kinds of resources
  • personnel
  • skill set issues
  • availability
  • inspectors must be perceived as impartial,
    objective, respected
  • inspectors must understand the criteria for the
  • space
  • mental overloaded people are poor inspectors
  • physical quiet, comfortable, private, lack of
  • inspection interval can increase if meeting rooms
    are scarce
  • time
  • time for inspections must be focused and
  • schedule pressures may dominate, especially late
    in a project

Management resources (2)
  • Quantifying soft factors 21
  • human-oriented factors influence productivity
    more than process does (list from COCOMO model)
  • analyst experience
  • communications factors
  • personnel continuity
  • programmer capability
  • capability of requirements analyst
  • language and tool expertise
  • programmer experience
  • Soft factors collectively exert an influence on
    productivity ranging up to 25.8 times
  • one source suggests that moving from CMM level 1
    to level 5 only improves productivity by 1.43

Management process (1)
  • Process definition is a choice
  • a chaotic process is one possible choice
  • Inspections help bring order out of chaos
  • inspections are a form of discipline
  • e.g. time estimation depends on time tracking
  • weekly timesheets arent precise enough
  • learning to track time is necessary
  • granularity must be better than hourly
  • making inspections an integral part of the
    development process gives structure to that
  • inspections lead to predictability
  • collecting data from inspections should lead to
    further process improvement

Management process (2)
  • Data-Based Process Improvement
  • try inspection at different stages
  • collect data to see which is most effective
  • compare different process approaches
  • collect data on testing and debugging effort
    levels with and without inspections
  • the care needed to track times for inspections
    spills over into estimation and tracking of time
    for other activities
  • Process improvement approaches that are not based
    on actual data are more likely to fail

  • Inspect for specific goals
  • Types of inspectors
  • Desk checking
  • What to inspect
  • When to inspect
  • Process variations
  • Techniques
  • Tools

Mechanics Inspect for Specific Goals - Examples
  • Set an inspection goal to identify usability
  • Ask questions such as
  • What are these identifiers used for?
  • What is the default choice in these switch
  • Have a numerical techniques expert check one
    module that does a matrix inversion
  • Have a junior programmer check the entire product
    for meaningful identifiers
  • Have a meeting focused solely on consistency
    issues of the user interface

Mechanics Inspect for Specific Goals Particular
Approaches 6,7
  • Set objectives of inspection ahead
  • Inspector skills are matched to specific aspects
    of the inspection
  • Each inspector focuses on a specific purpose
  • inspectors actively work with the document
  • questionnaires dont have passive questions
    requiring simple yes/no answers
  • Inspectors may either
  • examine specific modules -or-
  • examine entire product for one property
  • Small meetings focused on specific aspects
  • meetings may not raise new findings

Mechanics Types of Inspectors 6
  • Suggestions for finding good inspectors
  • specialists
  • application area
  • hardware
  • operating system
  • potential users of system
  • those familiar with design methodology used
  • those who enjoy finding logical inconsistencies
    and are skilled at doing so

Mechanics Desk Checking
  • Part of your personal tool kit
  • some studies show that desk reviews can be
    extremely effective (e.g. 32)
  • track time it takes
  • track defects found
  • take ideas from Pair Programming 15 and Testing
    Buddies 23
  • team up to do inspections with your buddy

Mechanics what to inspect
  • All software artifacts can be inspected
  • In some cases, code inspections can be replaced
    by design, architecture or requirements
  • In some cases, code inspections can replace unit
  • Architecture and design inspections have high
    payback (XP challenges this current debate)
  • Start small even one page can contain 50 or more
    defects (e.g. early requirements inspection)
  • Inspection and testing are complementary

Mechanics when to inspect (1)
  • Inspection is possible at any time
  • Based on your goals
  • Fit inspections into your existing process
  • even an immature organization can implement an
    effective inspection program (e.g. 24)
  • Dont allow the inspection to become a bottleneck
  • do what you can in parallel with other activities
  • Look at what resources are available

Mechanics when to inspect (2)
  • Determine the criteria
  • entry criteria
  • code after clean compile, before testing?
  • documents after spell checking, after syntax
  • anything can I comprehend what youve given me?
  • re-inspection criteria
  • more than 5 errors per page?
  • exit criteria
  • all findings addressed?
  • inspection tasks completed?
  • metrics at acceptable levels?

Mechanics Process variations
Process goal is to combine structure and rigour
with freedom to act effectively and so encourage
participants to add value
  • Should process include sampling?
  • Does every inspection need a Fagan-style meeting?
  • alternatives
  • Is there a case for more than one meeting?

Should process include sampling?
  • Sampling selected portions of a document is an
    excellent practical alternative to complete
    checking. 4
  • estimate issue density per page in unchecked
  • can determine value of checking other pages
  • can suggest systematic corrections to document
  • can determine value of further inspection
  • based on assumption that the same process that
    produced the entire document produced the sample
  • mistakes on one page will often recur on many
    other pages
  • will not identify specific issues on unchecked
  • satisfies the purpose of quality measurement,
    teaching the product author, gaining insights
    about defects that could help in process

Does Every Inspection Need a Fagan-style Meeting?
Does Every Inspection Need a Fagan-style Meeting?
  • Report on an experiment Votta 5
  • investigates the need for large inspection
  • two-person meetings are enough?
  • Report on an experiment Porter Votta 26
  • collection meetings produce no net improvement
    in terms of meeting losses and meeting gains
  • Report on an experiment Johnson Tjanjono 17
  • shows that the number of defects found does not
    increase as a result of meetings, but that
    meetings help to detect false positives

Does Every Inspection Need a Fagan-style Meeting?
  • Report on an experiment Laitenberger et al 28
  • non-traditional structure of meeting
    (DaimlerChrysler Germany)
  • each inspector prepares a model of the
    requirements document under inspection
  • each inspector presents their prepared model
  • in the presentation, each inspector explains the
    defects found in the context of their model
  • ensures
  • each inspector is prepared
  • technical justification for each defect
  • discussions with author are related to technical
  • helps to avoid personal conflicts
  • meetings all consist of two inspectors plus the
  • experiment concludes that meeting results are
    better than individual results

Is there a case for more thanone meeting?
  • An Experiment to Assess the Cost-Benefits of Code
    Inspections in Large Scale Software Development
    (Porter, Siy, Toman, Votta 8)
  • varied the the number of reviewers, the number of
    teams inspecting the code unit, and the
    requirement of fixing defects between first and
    second teams inspections
  • two teams per inspection with fix was dropped
    part way through experiment as infeasible
  • results on two teams in parallel are
    inconclusive, where the total number of people is
    the same (e.g. 2 teams of 1 vs. 1 team of 2)
  • one of the conclusions
  • structural changes to the inspection process do
    not always have the intended effect significant
    improvements to the inspection process will
    depend on the development of defect detection

Mechanics techniques
  • Unstructured inspection techniques
  • ad hoc and paraphrasing
  • check lists
  • Structured individual techniques
  • scenario based reading
  • defect based reading
  • test based perspective
  • program comprehension case study
  • modeling the inspection artifact
  • task-directed inspections

Unstructured Techniques (1)
  • Ad-hoc is common
  • often based on paraphrasing
  • no focus on particular issues
  • no guidance on how to consider the product
  • no explicit use of inspectors expertise
  • not repeatable
  • no record of inspectors thought processes and
  • does the beginning of the product get more
    attention than the end?
  • are conceptually difficult parts ignored?

Unstructured Techniques (2)
  • Checklists are popular but have several
    shortcomings2, 9
  • checklists are based on past experience
  • some categories will not have been found yet
  • depends on inspectors using individual expertise
    to find issues in missing categories
  • inspectors may not look for anything beyond what
    is in checklist
  • checklists may be lengthy and hard to use
  • checklist categories may not be effective or
  • categories need to be prioritized
  • some categories may not provide enough guidance
  • checklist for one project may not work on another
  • some checklists should be personalized
  • checklist effectiveness needs to be evaluated
  • constant improvement needed

Unstructured Techniques (3)
  • Checklists are effective when 12, 33
  • well established history of the product exists
  • product is predictable
  • inspection goals are accompanied by a well
    documented method of operationalization
  • e.g. style manual, standards
  • providing a source of accumulated wisdom to a
    junior member of the team
  • an inspector is working independently and
  • the inspector is not experienced and
  • the checklist provides a relatively complete tour
    of the product under inspection

Overview of Structured Inspection Techniques
(University of Maryland 10)
  • Systematic
  • inspector knows how to inspect the document
  • Specific roles
  • inspector is responsible for a specific role with
    a specific focus
  • Distinct
  • each role is distinct in the sense of minimizing
  • coverage of different defect classes is achieved
    by having multiple roles

Scenario Based Reading
  • A technique that is used individually in order
    to analyze a product or a set of products. Some
    concrete instructions are given to the reader on
    how to read or what to look for in a document.
    (University of Maryland, Notes on Perspective
    based Scenarios 10)
  • defect-based and perspective-based scenarios
    (Porter, Votta, Basili 11)
  • focus on defect classes and use questionnaire to
    guide inspectors
  • focus on a role (perspective) and use
    questionnaire to guide inspectors (may also
    produce a product associated with that role)
  • can prepare a scenario for any inspection

Scenario example Defect-based reading 11
  • Requirements inspection - Ambiguities or Missing
    Functionality Scenario
  • Identify the required precision, response time,
    etc. for each functional requirement.
  • Are all required precisions indicated?
  • For each requirement, identify all monitored
  • Does a sequence of events exist for which
    multiple output values can be computed?
  • Does a sequence of events exist for which no
    output value will be computed?
  • For each system mode, identify all monitored
  • Does a sequence of events exist for which
    transitions into two or more system modes is

Scenario examplePerspective-based reading (1)
  • Requirements inspection - Test-based Perspective
  • For each requirement, make up a test or set of
    tests that will allow you to ensure that the
    implementation satisfies the requirement. Use
    your standard test approach and test criteria to
    make up the test suite. While making up your test
    suite for each requirement, ask yourself the
    following questions
  • next slide ...

Scenario examplePerspective-based reading (2)
  • Requirements inspection - Test-based Perspective
  • Do you have all the information necessary to
    identify the item being tested and to identify
    your test criteria? Can you make up reasonable
    test cases for each item based upon the criteria?
  • Is there another requirement for which you would
    generate a similar test case but would get a
    contradictory result?
  • Can you be sure the test you generate will yield
    the correct value in the correct units?
  • Are there other interpretations of this
    requirement that the implementor might make
    based upon the way the requirement is defined?
    Will this affect the test you made up?
  • Does the requirement make sense from what you
    know about the application and from what is
    specified in the general description?

Program Comprehension Case Study 20,25
  • Most developers have weak program comprehension
  • A group of inspectors in a particular company was
    trained in program comprehension
  • focus shifted from process to product
  • built mental models and understood the
    translations from one model to the next
  • inspectors developed their own checklists from
    these models
  • there was a 90 reduction in post-release errors
    when inspectors used program comprehension
    approach compared to two other groups of
    inspectors in the same company

Modeling the Inspection Artifact
  • Example DaimlerChrysler requirements inspections
  • Create a model of the requirements specifications
  • e.g. using UML, usually sequence diagrams
  • Two inspectors read specifications
  • focus on qualities such as correctness,
    consistency, testability, maintainability
  • prepare slides about the created model for the
    subsequent inspection meeting
  • document any defect found on a prescribed form
  • inspectors dont need inspection specific
  • technique is effective at operationalization of
    given qualities?

Task Directed Inspection (TDI)
  • What is TDI?
  • inspectors produce a usable product for future
    evolution of the software system
  • inspectors expertise is matched to the task
  • used with a light-weight inspection process
  • focus on the work of the individual rather than
    that of the team
  • based on observation that creating careful
    documentation often shows up defects in product
    being documented
  • Case Study at OHN
  • inspection exercise piggybacked on an existing
    software development activity

Mechanics tools
  • Comments about tools here are focused on code
  • use tools to make inspection more productive
  • reduce tedious trivia burden
  • for code clean up, restructuring
  • enforce code styles
  • e.g. enforce comment style consistency
  • some style errors slip past
  • automatic generation of documentation
  • e.g. call trees, flowcharts, UML diagrams, ...
  • find some syntactic errors
  • tools cannot find errors that result in correct
  • tools can get confused in complex code
  • report false positives
  • miss real issues
  • still need someone to read the code
  • asynchronous inspections virtual meetings
  • can reduce inspection intervals, but no synergy
  • current research on Computer Supported
    Collaborative Work (CSCW) may improve inspections
  • still very much in research phase

Inspection Metrics defect data
  • Robert Grady of HP 1996 34
  • software defect data is the most important
    available management information source for
    software process improvement decisions
  • ignoring defect data can lead to serious
    consequences for an organizations business

Inspection Metrics What can be collected?
  • Time used
  • hardware support for time tracking would help?
  • e.g. palmtop
  • Findings
  • may generate change requests
  • only warranted when change is large
  • minor changes can be fixed in the inspection
  • Others counts, location, sources, impact, time
    to fix, role (user, developer, inspector,...),
  • Data collection effort must be proportional to
    the value of the data

Inspection Metrics When There Is No Time
  • Measurement gathering must be an integral part of
    the software development process
  • must involve as little human effort as possible
  • must be supported with tools if at all possible
  • minimize the number of measurements gathered
  • those gathered must be useful and useable
  • there must be a payback on the metrics chosen, or
    the time needed to collect them is better spent
  • be willing to change the metrics being collected

Metrics Defect Classification
  • Why classify and track defects?
  • Sample defect categorization schemes
  • Definition is a form of classification What is a
  • IEEE Standard 1044 Classification for Software
  • Defect Classification for Defect Causal Analysis
  • What to do about classification when there is no

Why classify and track defects? (1)
  • Project management reasons
  • allocation of resources
  • allocation of priorities
  • monitoring project progress
  • Project execution reasons
  • guide the selection of test cases
  • guide what to inspect for
  • Responsiveness to customers
  • nothing falls off the list
  • dont make the same mistake again
  • which types of defects cause greatest downtime

Why classify and track defects? (2)
  • Process improvement reasons
  • identify what parts of process are injecting
  • analyze faulty work processes and improve them
  • identify activities which
  • capture specific defect classes
  • capture more defects
  • identify effective personal practices
  • analysis of steps in process
  • do the steps meet their goals?
  • evaluate impact of changes to development process
  • defect classification as part of a measurement

Why classify and track defects? (3)
  • Product improvement reasons
  • defect profiles for specific components/modules
  • statistical assessment of software
  • Research
  • evaluation of methodologies
  • evaluation of VV techniques
  • identifying different types of defects
  • differentiating types of defects found by
    different inspection techniques

Sample defect classification schemes
  • http//
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Boris Beizer
  • Defect Classification for Computational Codes

IBM ODC Categories
  • Defect Removal Activities
  • Triggers
  • Impact
  • Target
  • Defect Type
  • Qualifier
  • Age
  • Source

IBM ODC defect types for code and design
  • 1. Assignment/Initialization
  • 2. Checking
  • 3. Algorithm/Method
  • 4. Function/Class/Object
  • 5. Timing/Serial
  • 6. Interface/O-O Messages
  • 7. Relationship

HPs Categorization Scheme 1987
Beizers taxonomy (1)
  • Developed as a statistical framework for
    determining testing strategy
  • Four levels of detail with eight categories at
    top level
  • 1. Requirements and Features
  • defects related to the requirements specification
  • 2. Functionality and Features
  • completeness, correctness, input domain, error
  • 3. Component Structure
  • control flow, case selection, initialization,
  • 4. Data
  • definition, structure, or use of data

Beizers taxonomy (2)
  • 5. Implementation
  • typographical errors, standards violation,
  • 6. Integration
  • integration and interfaces between components
  • 7. System and Software Architecture
  • architectural errors that affect entire system
  • 8. Test Definition Execution
  • definition, design, execution of tests or data
    used in tests
  • Example
  • 4232 Data(4) Access and Handling(2)
    Dimension(3) Initialization(2)

Defect Classification for Computational Codes
DC-CC (1)
  • Description
  • structured to have multiple levels of detail
  • five categories at top level
  • documentation
  • calculation/logic
  • error checking
  • support code
  • external resources
  • as currently defined, three more levels each
    providing more detail
  • five defect qualifiers associated with each
  • missing, wrong, superfluous, inconsistent, obscure

Defect Classification for Computational Codes
DC-CC (2)
  • Additional classification as a tool for research
  • DC-CC is overlaid with levels of understanding
  • Comparative level C
  • consistency of code with documentation
  • Identifier level I
  • consistency of variable naming with use
  • Structural level S
  • data and logical structures that support code
  • Logical level L
  • calculation and logic correct

  • What is a Defect?
  • too many terms
  • examples
  • Simple and complex definitions
  • Our definition

What is a Defect?Too many terms
What is a Defect? Examples (1)
  • Difficulty in categorizing 35
  • one-character error in source statement
  • passes syntax checking
  • data is corrupted in another area of the system
  • function then performs incorrectly
  • is this a typing error, coding error, data error
    or functional error?
  • is the error due to inadequate data validation,
    inadequate code review?
  • Defect or opportunity?
  • Help system could be improved
  • Scale issues
  • e.g. typing error in internal comment
  • group all typing errors as a single defect?
  • e.g. system fails to complete computations in
    required time limit
  • several components may be contributing to problem

What is a Defect? Examples (2)
  • Definition/scope/details of defect may change
    after initial report filed
  • e.g. variable used multiple times but only
    guarded (e.g. range checked) in one case
  • missing guards?
  • unnecessary guard?
  • missing documentation for a special case?
  • e.g. setting of a flag indicating a fatal error
    is commented out
  • mistake?
  • undocumented change of error handling style?
  • kluge to stop the program from terminating?

What is a Defect?
  • An argument may be made that its not a defect
    since it is ...
  • not a fault
  • defects may not lead to failures
  • e.g. incorrect comment
  • but this may lead indirectly to a failure
  • code is changed to be consistent with comment
  • not an error
  • defects may be inadvertent
  • e.g. new version of a component or a platform
  • sometimes not clear
  • e.g. dead code that may have a purpose
  • really an enhancement
  • e.g. limitations on current functionality

What is a defect? Definitions(1)
  • Simple definitions
  • Gilb 4 (1)
  • a defect is identified as something that is
  • Gilb 4 (2) for defect prevention process
  • anything that impacts or interferes with
    maintaining or improving quality and production
  • Fredericks and Basili 29 trying to find a
    consistent terminology
  • any fault, failure, or error occurring in a
    software system

What is a defect? Definitions (2)
  • Definitions from standards 36
  • The non-fulfillment of intended usage
    requirements. ISO8402, QMPPQuality Management
    for Projects and Programs, Lew Ireland Project
    Management Institute
  • Any non-conformance of a characteristic with
    specified requirements. MIL-STD 105, QMPP
  • Any condition or characteristic in any supplies
    or services furnished by the contractor under the
    contract that is not in compliance with the
    requirements of the contract. GATGlossary of
    Acquisition Terms, US federal govt
  • A substandard condition. CSM Centre for Systems

What is a defect? Definitions (3)
  • Definition from Robert Grady at HP 37
  • A defect is a deviation from the product
    specification or an error in the specification if
    the error could have been detected and would have
    been corrected. If the error could not possibly
    have been detected, or it could have been
    detected and would not have been corrected, then
    it is an enhancement, not a defect. Defects do
    not include typographical or grammatical errors
    in the engineering documentation.

What is a defect?Our Definition
A defect is an observable property of code or
other work product that could diminish the
desired level of any quality factor defined for
the software system.
Quality factors (Ilities) Timeliness,
Functionality, Cost, Correctness, Reliability,
Maintainability Usability, Flexibility,
Adaptability, Testability, Readability,
Portability, Device independence, Self
containedness, Reusability, Interoperability,
Efficiency, Device efficiency, Integrity,
Security, Accuracy, Robustness, Completeness,
Consistency, Accountability, Accessibility, Human
Engineered, Self descriptive, Fault tolerant,
Structuredness, Conciseness, Legibility,
Augmentability, Modifiability, Understandability,
Clarity, Resilience, Validity, Generality,
Minimality, Modularity, Expandability,...
IEEE Standard 1044 - Classification for Software
Anomalies 38
  • Describes classification itself as a process with
    four steps
  • recognition
  • when anomaly found
  • investigation
  • propose solutions
  • action
  • all activities to prevent occurrence of similar
  • disposition
  • At each step
  • record
  • classify
  • identify impact

Defect Classification for Defect Causal Analysis
(DCA) 39
  • Make use of most widely available types of
    quality information - the software problem
  • Classify or group problems
  • classify problem by programmer when implementing
    the fix
  • define or choose a scheme before starting DCA
  • most useful dimensions for classification
  • when was the defect injected into the software?
  • when was the defect detected?
  • what type of defect was introduced?
  • Identify systematic errors
  • Determine principle cause
  • Develop corrective actions

What to do about classification when there is no
  • Keep classification system very simple
  • e.g. Major, Minor
  • Track only defects in progress
  • dont keep historical data unless it has value
  • small defects that can be quickly fixed are not
    tracked, other than by the existence of new
  • Classify only when there is a very clear purpose
  • stop classifying when purpose is achieved
  • Use classification to save time
  • make judicious use of defect causal analysis on
    subsets of defects

Eight Maxims of Inspection
  • Observations from the three experiments conducted
    at Ontario Hydro
  • 1. Specify the goals of the inspection
  • define all terminology
  • e.g. What does maintainability or correctness
  • e.g. What is a defect?
  • specify style guides if any
  • determine scope of inspection
  • do inspectors look at associated pieces of the
  • 2. Identify required skills
  • specific technical skills linked to goals
  • communications skills
  • 3. Clean up the product to be inspected
  • support judicious use of the inspectors time
  • use tools to clean up the product under
  • supply complete and consistent documentation
  • if possible, make product author available as a

Eight Maxims of Inspection
  • 4. Use structured inspection techniques
  • provides guidance for breadth and depth of
    understanding of product
  • encourages better coverage of the product
  • 5. Build a process based on inspection
  • product author knows the product will be
  • infrastructure in place to leverage benefits of
  • identify the best time to carry out the
  • 6. Give inspectors responsibility and authority
  • a sense of ownership encourages dedicated work
  • allow inspectors access to all resources needed

Eight Maxims of Inspection
  • 7. Ensure inspectors have the space to inspect
  • mental space to be able to focus
  • physical space free from distractions
  • schedule space to get the job done
  • 8. Use metrics cautiously when assessing the
    effectiveness of inspection activities
  • defect count is an ambiguous and ill-defined
  • too many variables affect time-to-inspect
  • what about subconscious thought time??

Diane Kelly and Terry Shepard, "Eight Maxims for
Software Inspectors, Journal of Software
Testing, Verification and Reliability, Volume
14, Issue 4 , pp. 243 256, Dec. 2004
How to do Inspections When there is No Time
If you dont have time to do it right ...
you must have time to do it over.
References 1
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  • Oliver Laitenberger, Khaled El Emam, Thomas
    Harbich, An Internally Replicated
    Quasi-Experimental Comparison of Checklist and
    Perspective-Base Reading of Code Documents, IEEE
    Transactions in Software Engineering, May 2001,
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  • Lawrence G. Votta, Does the Modern Code
    Inspection Have Value? Presentation at the NRC
    Seminar on Measuring Success Empirical Studies
    of Software Engineering March 1999

References 2
  • Tom Gilb and Dorothy Graham, Software Inspection,
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    Engineering, ACM Press, New York, 1993, pp
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    Engineering, Aug. 1985

References 3
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    Software Engineering, Vol 23, No 6, June 1997, pp
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References 4
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    Nov. 1999
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    Requirements Inspections A Replicated
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  • Diane Kelly, Terry Shepard Task-Directed
    Software Inspection Technique An Experiment and
    Case Study, Proceedings IBM CASCON, Nov. 2000

References 5
  • Glen W. Russell, "Experience with Inspection in
    Ultralarge-Scale Developments", IEEE Software,
    Jan. 1991, pp.25-31
  • R. Chillarege, et al., "Orthogonal Defect
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  • Kent Beck, Extreme Programming Explained Culture
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  • Robert B. Grady, Successful Software Process
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References 6
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    N. Meeson Jr., Software Inspection An Industry
    Best Practice, IEEE CS Press, 1996
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    Kazman, Linda Northrop, Amy Zaremski
    Recommended Best Industrial Practice for
    Software Architecture Evaluation, Technical
    Report, CMU/SEI-96-TR-025, January 1997

References 7
  • Stan Rifkin, Lionel Deimel Program
    Comprehension Techniques Improve Software
    Inspections A Case Study, Proceedings IWPC 00,
    IEEE 2000
  • Steve McConnell, Quantifying Soft Factors, IEEE
    Software, Nov/Dec 2000, pp 9-11
  • Terry Shepard, Margaret Lamb, and Diane Kelly,
    More Testing Should be Taught, Communications
    of the ACM, June 2001, 44 (6), pp. 103-108
  • Michael Cusumano, Richard Selby, Microsoft
    Secrets, Simon Shuster Inc., 1995

References 8
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    improving the process, Addison-Wesley, 1995
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    Findings, Communications of the ACM, April 1999,
    Vol. 42, no. 4, pp.17-19
  • Adam Porter, Lawrence Votta, Comparing Detection
    Methods for Software Requirements Inspections A
    Replication Using Professional Subjects,
    Empirical Software Engineering Journal, 1997

References 9
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    Filippo Lanubile, Forrest Shull, Sivert
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References 10
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    Tracking and Analysis to Improve Software
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    NY, 1998
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References 13
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    and FAQ.HTMconcepts
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