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Assessing the impact of active guidance for defect detection. A replicated experiment

: Lanubile, F.; Mallardo, T.; Calefato, F.; Denger, C.; Ciolkowski, M.


IEEE Computer Society:
10th International Software Metrics Symposium, Metrics 2004. Proceedings : 11-17 September 2004, Chicago, IL
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society, 2004
ISBN: 0-7695-2129-0
pp.269-279 : Ill., Lit.
International Software Metrics Symposium <10, 2004, Chicago/Ill.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
active guidance; quality assurance; inspection; reading technique; scenario-based reading

Scenario-based reading (SBR) techniques have been proposed as an alternative to checklists to support the inspectors throughout the reading process in the form of operational scenarios. Many studies have been performed to compare these techniques regarding their impact on the inspector performance. However, most of the existing studies have compared generic checklists to a set of specific reading scenarios, thus confounding the effects of two SBR key factors: separation of concerns and active guidance.
In a previous work we have preliminarily conducted a repeated case study at the University of Kaiserslautern to evaluate the impact of active guidance on inspection performance. Specifically, we compared reading scenarios and focused checklists, which were both characterized as being perspective-based. The only difference between the reading techniques was the active guidance provided by the reading scenarios. We now have replicated the initial study with a controlled experiment using as subjects 43 graduate students in computer science at University of Bari. We did not find evidence that active guidance in reading techniques affects the effectiveness or the efficiency of defect detection. However, inspectors showed a better acceptance of focused checklists than reading scenarios.