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Considering fault removal efficiency in software reliability assessment

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3 Author(s)
Xuemei Zhang ; Dept. of Ind. Eng., Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ, USA ; Xiaolin Teng ; Hoang Pham

Software reliability growth models (SRGMs) have been developed to estimate software reliability measures such as the number of remaining faults, software failure rate, and software reliability. Issues such as imperfect debugging and the learning phenomenon of developers have been considered in these models. However, most SRGMs assume that faults detected during tests will eventually be removed. Consideration of fault removal efficiency in the existing models is limited. In practice, fault removal efficiency is usually imperfect. This paper aims to incorporate fault removal efficiency into software reliability assessment. Fault removal efficiency is a useful metric in software development practice and it helps developers to evaluate the debugging effectiveness and estimate the additional workload. In this paper, imperfect debugging is considered in the sense that new faults can be introduced into the software during debugging and the detected faults may not be removed completely. A model is proposed to integrate fault removal efficiency, failure rate, and fault introduction rate into software reliability assessment. In addition to traditional reliability measures, the proposed model can provide some useful metrics to help the development team make better decisions. Software testing data collected from real applications are utilized to illustrate the proposed model for both the descriptive and predictive power. The expected number of residual faults and software failure rate are also presented.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans  (Volume:33 ,  Issue: 1 )