By Topic

Data Quality: Some Comments on the NASA Software Defect Datasets

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$33 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

4 Author(s)
Martin Shepperd ; Brunel University, Uxbridge ; Qinbao Song ; Zhongbin Sun ; Carolyn Mair

Background--Self-evidently empirical analyses rely upon the quality of their data. Likewise, replications rely upon accurate reporting and using the same rather than similar versions of datasets. In recent years, there has been much interest in using machine learners to classify software modules into defect-prone and not defect-prone categories. The publicly available NASA datasets have been extensively used as part of this research. Objective--This short note investigates the extent to which published analyses based on the NASA defect datasets are meaningful and comparable. Method--We analyze the five studies published in the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering since 2007 that have utilized these datasets and compare the two versions of the datasets currently in use. Results--We find important differences between the two versions of the datasets, implausible values in one dataset and generally insufficient detail documented on dataset preprocessing. Conclusions--It is recommended that researchers 1) indicate the provenance of the datasets they use, 2) report any preprocessing in sufficient detail to enable meaningful replication, and 3) invest effort in understanding the data prior to applying machine learners.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 9 )