IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering

In-Process Evaluation for Software Inspection and Test

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The goal of software inspection and test is to reduce the expected cost of software failure over the life of a product. This paper extends the use of defect triggers, the events that cause defects to be discovered, to help evaluate the effectiveness of inspections and test scenarios. In the case of inspections, the defect trigger is defined as a set of values that associate the skills of the inspector with the discovered defect. Similarly, for test scenarios, the defect trigger values embody the deferring strategies being used in creating these scenarios. The usefulness of triggers in evaluating the effectiveness of software inspections and tests is demonstrated by evaluating the inspection and test activities of some software products. These evaluations are used to point to both deficiencies in inspection and test strategies and to progress made in improving such strategies. The trigger distribution of the entire inspection or test series may then be used to highlight areas for further investigation, with the aim of improving the design, implementation, and test processes. © 1993 IEEE