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The Impact of Design and Code Reviews on Software Quality: An Empirical Study Based on PSP Data

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2 Author(s)
Chris F. Kemerer ; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh ; Mark C. Paulk

This research investigates the effect of review rate on defect removal effectiveness and the quality of software products, while controlling for a number of potential confounding factors. Two data sets of 371 and 246 programs, respectively, from a personal software process (PSP) approach were analyzed using both regression and mixed models. Review activities in the PSP process are those steps performed by the developer in a traditional inspection process. The results show that the PSP review rate is a significant factor affecting defect removal effectiveness, even after accounting for developer ability and other significant process variables. The recommended review rate of 200 LOC/hour or less was found to be an effective rate for individual reviews, identifying nearly two-thirds of the defects in design reviews and more than half of the defects in code reviews.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 4 )