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New directions in measurement for software quality control

By Paul J. Krause, Bernd Freimut and Witold Suryn


<p>Assessing and controlling software quality is still an immature discipline. One of the reasons for this is that many of the concepts and terms that are used in discussing and describing quality are overloaded with a history from manufacturing quality. We argue in this paper that a quite distinct approach is needed to software quality control as compared with manufacturing quality control. In particular, the emphasis in software quality control is in design to fulfill business needs, rather than replication to agreed standards. We will describe how quality goals can be derived from business needs. Following that, we will introduce an approach to quality control that uses rich causal models, which can take into account human as well as technological influences. A significant concern of developing such models is the limited sample sizes that are available for eliciting model parameters. In the final section of the paper we will show how expert judgment can be reliably used to elicit parameters in the absence of statistical data. In total this provides an agenda for developing a framework for quality control in software engineering that is freed from the shackles of an inappropriate legacy.</p

Year: 2002
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