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An experimental comparison of reading techniques for defect detection in UML design documents

 
: Laitenberger, O.; Atkinson, C.; Schlich, M.; Emam, K. el

:

The Journal of systems and software 53 (2000), Nr.2, S.183-204 : Ill., Lit.
ISSN: 0164-1212
Englisch
Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software inspection; perspective-based reading; controlled experiment; object-orientation; Unified Modeling Language (UML); fusion

Abstract
The basic motivation for software inspections is to detect and remove defects before they propagate to subsequent development phases where their detection and removal becomes more expensive. To attain this potential, the examination of the artefact under inspection must be as thorough and detailed as possible. This implies the need for systematic reading techniques that tell inspection participants what to look for and, more importantly, how to scrutinise a software document. Recent research efforts investigated the benefits of scenario-based reading techniques for defect detection in functional requirements and functional code documents. A major finding has been that these techniques help inspection teams find more defects than existing state-of-the-practice approaches, such as, ad-hoc or checklist-based reading (CBR). In this paper we describe and experimentally compare one scenario-based reading technique, namely perspective-based reading (PBR), for defect detection in object-oriented design documents using the notation of the Unified Modelling Language (UML) with the more traditional CBR approach. The comparison was performed in a controlled experiment with 18 practitioners as subjects. Our results indicate that PBR is more effective than CBR (i.e., it resulted in inspection teams detecting on average 41% more unique defects than CBR). Moreover the cost of defect detection using PBR is significantly lower than CBR (i.e., PBR exhibits on average a 58% cost per defect improvement over CBR). This study therefore provides evidence demonstrating the efficacy of PBR scenarios for defect detection in UML design documents. In addition, it demonstrates that a PBR inspection is a promising approach for improving the quality of models developed using the UML notation.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/dokumente/N-2060.html