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Further investigations into the development and evaluation of reading techniques for object-oriented code inspection

Dunsmore, A. and Roper, M. and Wood, M. (2002) Further investigations into the development and evaluation of reading techniques for object-oriented code inspection. In: 24th International Conference on Software Engineering, 2002-05-19 - 2002-05-25.

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Abstract

This paper describes the development and experimental evaluation of a rigorous approach for effective object-oriented (OO) code inspection. Since their development, inspections have been shown to be powerful defect detection strategies but little research has been done to investigate their application to OO systems, which have very different structural and execution models compared to procedural systems. Previous investigations have demonstrated that the delocalised nature of OO software - the resolution of frequent non-local references, and the incongruous relationship between its static and dynamic representations, are primary inhibitors to its effective inspection. The experiment investigates a set of three complementary code reading techniques devised specifically to address these problems: one based on a checklist adapted to address the identified problems of OO inspections, one focused on the systematic construction of abstract specifications, and the last centered on the dynamic slice that a use-case takes through a system. The analysis shows that there is a significant difference in the number of defects found between the three reading techniques. The checklist-based technique emerges as the most effective approach but the other techniques also have noticeable strengths and so for the best results in a practical situation a combination of techniques is recommended.