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Identifying Error-Prone Software—An Empirical Study

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4 Author(s)
Shen, V.Y. ; Department of Computer Sciences, Purdue University ; Yu, T.-J. ; Thebaut, S.M. ; Paulsen, L.R.

A major portion of the effort expended in developing commercial software today is associated with program testing. Schedule and/ or resource constraints frequently require that testing be conducted so as to uncover the greatest number of errors possible in the time allowed. In this paper we describe a study undertaken to assess the potential usefulness of various product-and process-related measures in identifying error-prone software. Our goal was to establish an empirical basis for the efficient utilization of limited testing resources using objective, measurable criteria. Through a detailed analysis of three software products and their error discovery histories, we have found simple metrics related to the amount of data and the structural complexity of programs to be of value for this purpose.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:SE-11 ,  Issue: 4 )