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Automating the software inspection process

Macdonald, F. and Miller, J. and Brooks, A. and Roper, M. and Wood, M. (1996) Automating the software inspection process. Automated Software Engineering, 3 (3/4). pp. 193-283. ISSN 0928-8910

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Abstract

Inspection is widely believed to be the most cost-effective method for detecting defects in documents produced during the software development lifecycle. However, it is by its very nature a labour intensive process. This has led to work on computer support for the process which should increase the efficiency and effectiveness beyond what is currently possible with a solely manual process. In this paper, we first of all describe current approaches to automation of the inspection process. There are four main areas of inspection which have been the target for computer support: document handling, individual preparation, meeting support and metrics collection. We then describe five tools which have been developed to support the inspection process and compare the capabilities of these tools. This is followed by a fuller discussion of the features which could be provided by computer support for inspection and the gains that may be achieved by using such support.