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Using the ISO/IEC 9126 product quality model to classify defects: A controlled experiment

: Vetro, A.; Zazworka, N.; Seaman, C.; Shull, F.


16th International Conference on Evaluation & Assessment in Software Engineering, EASE 2012 : 14-15 May 2012
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84919-541-6
International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE) <16, 2012, Ciudad Real>
Fraunhofer CESE ()

Background: Existing software defect classification schemes support multiple tasks, such as root cause analysis and process improvement guidance. However, existing schemes do not assist in assigning defects to a broad range of high level software goals, such as software quality characteristics like functionality, maintainability, and usability. Aim: We investigate whether a classification based on the ISO/IEC 9126 software product quality model is reliable and useful to link defects to quality aspects impacted. Method: Six different subjects, divided in two groups with respect to their expertise, classified 78 defects from an industrial web application using the ISO/IEC 9126 quality main characteristics and sub-characteristics, and a set of proposed extended guidelines. Results: The ISO/IEC 9126 model is reasonably reliable when used to classify defects, even using incomplete defect reports. Reliability and variability is better for the six high level main characteristi cs of the model than for the 22 subcharacteristics. Conclusions: The ISO/IEC 9126 software quality model provides a solid foundation for defect classification. We also recommend, based on the follow up qualitative analysis performed, to use more complete defect reports and tailor the quality model to the context of use.