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  • 1. Afzal, Wasif
    et al.
    Torkar, Richard
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Feldt, Robert
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Prediction of faults-slip-through in large software projects: an empirical evaluation2014In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 22, no 1, p. 51-86Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A large percentage of the cost of rework can be avoided by finding more faults earlier in a software test process. Therefore, determination of which software test phases to focus improvement work on has considerable industrial interest. We evaluate a number of prediction techniques for predicting the number of faults slipping through to unit, function, integration, and system test phases of a large industrial project. The objective is to quantify improvement potential in different test phases by striving toward finding the faults in the right phase. The results show that a range of techniques are found to be useful in predicting the number of faults slipping through to the four test phases; however, the group of search-based techniques (genetic programming, gene expression programming, artificial immune recognition system, and particle swarm optimization-based artificial neural network) consistently give better predictions, having a representation at all of the test phases. Human predictions are consistently better at two of the four test phases. We conclude that the human predictions regarding the number of faults slipping through to various test phases can be well supported by the use of search-based techniques. A combination of human and an automated search mechanism (such as any of the search-based techniques) has the potential to provide improved prediction results.

  • 2.
    Alégroth, Emil
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Mattsson, Michael
    Characteristics that affect Preference of Decision Models for Asset Selection: An Industrial Questionnaire SurveyIn: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern software development relies on a combination of development and re-use of technical asset, e.g. software components, libraries and APIs.In the past, re-use was mostly conducted with internal assets but today external; open source, customer off-the-shelf (COTS) and assets developed through outsourcing are also common.This access to more asset alternatives presents new challenges regarding what assets to optimally chose and how to make this decision.To support decision-makers, decision-theory has been used to develop decision models for asset selection.However, very little industrial data has been presented in literature about the usefulness, or even perceived usefulness, of these models.Additionally, only limited information has been presented about what model characteristics that determine practitioner preference towards one model over another.

    Objective: The objective of this work is to evaluate what characteristics of decision models for asset selection that determine industrial practitioner preference of a model when given the choice of a decision-model of high precision or a model with high speed.

    Method: An industrial questionnaire survey is performed where a total of 33 practitioners, of varying roles, from 18 companies are tasked to compare two decision models for asset selection.Textual analysis and formal and descriptive statistics are then applied on the survey responses to answer the study's research questions.

    Results: The study shows that the practitioners had clear preference towards the decision model that emphasised speed over the one that emphasised decision precision.This conclusion was determined to be because one of the models was perceived faster, had lower complexity, had, was more flexible in use for different decisions, was more agile how it could be used in operation, its emphasis on people, its emphasis on ``good enough'' precision and ability to fail fast if a decision was a failure.Hence, seven characteristics that the practitioners considered important for their acceptance of the model.

    Conclusion: Industrial practitioner preference, which relates to acceptance, of decision models for asset selection is dependent on multiple characteristics that must be considered when developing a model for different types of decisions such as operational day-to-day decisions as well as more critical tactical or strategic decisions.The main contribution of this work are seven identified characteristics that can serve as industrial requirements for future research on decision models for asset selection.

  • 3.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Caspersen, Michael E.
    Nordström, Marie
    Beauty and the Beast: on the readability of object-oriented example programs2016In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 231-246Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Some solutions to a programming problem are more elegant or more simple than others and thus more understandable for students. We review desirable properties of example programs from a cognitive and a measurement point of view. Certain cognitive aspects of example programs are captured by common software measures, but they are not sufficient to capture a key aspect of understandability: readability. We propose and discuss a simple readability measure for software, SRES, and apply it to object-oriented textbook examples. Our results show that readability measures correlate well with human perceptions of quality. Compared with other readability measures, SRES is less sensitive to commenting and white-space. These results also have implications for software maintainability measures.

  • 4.
    Chatzipetrou, Panagiota
    et al.
    Aristotle Univ Thessaloniki, Dept Informat, GR-54006 Thessaloniki, Greece..
    Angelis, Lefteris
    Aristotle Univ Thessaloniki, Dept Informat, GR-54006 Thessaloniki, Greece..
    Barney, Sebastian
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Wohlin, Claes
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    An experience-based framework for evaluating alignment of software quality goals2015In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 567-594Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Efficient quality management of software projects requires knowledge of how various groups of stakeholders involved in software development prioritize the product and project goals. Agreements or disagreements among members of a team may originate from inherent groupings, depending on various professional or other characteristics. These agreements are not easily detected by conventional practices (discussions, meetings, etc.) since the natural language expressions are often obscuring, subjective, and prone to misunderstandings. It is therefore essential to have objective tools that can measure the alignment among the members of a team; especially critical for the software development is the degree of alignment with respect to the prioritization goals of the software product. The paper proposes an experience-based framework of statistical and graphical techniques for the systematic study of prioritization alignment, such as hierarchical cluster analysis, analysis of cluster composition, correlation analysis, and closest agreement-directed graph. This framework can provide a thorough and global picture of a team's prioritization perspective and can potentially aid managerial decisions regarding team composition and leadership. The framework is applied and illustrated in a study related to global software development where 65 individuals in different roles, geographic locations and professional relationships with a company, prioritize 24 goals from individual perception of the actual situation and for an ideal situation.

  • 5.
    Engström, Emelie
    et al.
    Lund University, SWE.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Ali, Nauman
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Bjarnason, Elizabeth
    Lund University, SWE.
    SERP-test: a taxonomy for supporting industry-academia communication2017In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 25, no 4, p. 1269-1305Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents the construction and evaluation of SERP-test, a taxonomy aimed to improve communication between researchers and practitioners in the area of software testing. SERP-test can be utilized for direct communication in industry academia collaborations. It may also facilitate indirect communication between practitioners adopting software engineering research and researchers who are striving for industry relevance. SERP-test was constructed through a systematic and goal-oriented approach which included literature reviews and interviews with practitioners and researchers. SERP-test was evaluated through an online survey and by utilizing it in an industry–academia collaboration project. SERP-test comprises four facets along which both research contributions and practical challenges may be classified: Intervention, Scope, Effect target and Context constraints. This paper explains the available categories for each of these facets (i.e., their definitions and rationales) and presents examples of categorized entities. Several tasks may benefit from SERP-test, such as formulating research goals from a problem perspective, describing practical challenges in a researchable fashion, analyzing primary studies in a literature review, or identifying relevant points of comparison and generalization of research.

  • 6.
    Felderer, Michael
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology.
    Herrmann, Andrea
    Herrmann & Ehrlich, DEU.
    Comprehensibility of system models during test design: A controlled experiment comparing UML activity diagrams and state machines2019In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 125-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    UML activity diagrams and state machines are both used for modeling system behavior from the user perspective and are frequently the basis for deriving system test cases. In practice, system test cases are often derived manually from UML activity diagrams or state machines. For this task, comprehensibility of respective models is essential and a relevant question for practice to support model selection and design, as well as subsequent test derivation. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to compare the comprehensibility of UML activity diagrams and state machines during manual test case derivation. We investigate the comprehensibility of UML activity diagrams and state machines in a controlled student experiment. Three measures for comprehensibility have been investigated: (1) the self-assessed comprehensibility, (2) the actual comprehensibility measured by the correctness of answers to comprehensibility questions, and (3) the number of errors made during test case derivation. The experiment was performed and internally replicated with overall 84 participants divided into three groups at two institutions. Our experiment indicates that activity diagrams are more comprehensible but also more error-prone with regard to manual test case derivation and discusses how these results can improve system modeling and test case design.

  • 7.
    Fotrousi, Farnaz
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Inst Technol, SE-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden.;Univ Appl Sci & Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHN, Sch Engn, CH-5210 Windisch, Switzerland..
    Fricker, Samuel
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Inst Technol, SE-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden.;Univ Appl Sci & Arts Northwestern Switzerland FHN, Sch Engn, CH-5210 Windisch, Switzerland..
    Fiedler, Markus
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Technology and Aesthetics. Blekinge Inst Technol, SE-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden..
    The effect of requests for user feedback on Quality of Experience2018In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 385-415Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Companies are interested in knowing how users experience and perceive their products. Quality of Experience (QoE) is a measurement that is used to assess the degree of delight or annoyance in experiencing a software product. To assess QoE, we have used a feedback tool integrated into a software product to ask users about their QoE ratings and to obtain information about their rationales for good or bad QoEs. It is known that requests for feedback may disturb users; however, little is known about the subjective reasoning behind this disturbance or about whether this disturbance negatively affects the QoE of the software product for which the feedback is sought. In this paper, we present a mixed qualitative-quantitative study with 35 subjects that explore the relationship between feedback requests and QoE. The subjects experienced a requirement-modeling mobile product, which was integrated with a feedback tool. During and at the end of the experience, we collected the users' perceptions of the product and the feedback requests. Based on the users' rational for being disturbed by the feedback requests, such as "early feedback," "interruptive requests," "frequent requests," and "apparently inappropriate content," we modeled feedback requests. The model defines feedback requests using a set of five-tuple variables: "task," "timing" of the task for issuing the feedback requests, user's "expertise-phase" with the product, the "frequency" of feedback requests about the task, and the "content" of the feedback request. Configuration of these parameters might drive the participants' perceived disturbances. We also found that the disturbances generated by triggering user feedback requests have negligible impacts on the QoE of software products. These results imply that software product vendors may trust users' feedback even when the feedback requests disturb the users.

  • 8. Ivarsson, Martin
    et al.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, School of Computing.
    Tool support for disseminating and improving development practices2012In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 20, p. 173-199Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge management in software engineering and software process improvement activities pose challenges as initiatives are deployed. Most existing approaches are either too expensive to deploy or do not take an organization's specific needs into consideration. There is thus a need for scalable improvement approaches that leverage knowledge already residing in the organizations. This paper presents tool support for an Experience Factory approach for disseminating and improving practices used in an organization. Experiences from using practices in development projects are captured in postmortems and provide iteratively improved decision support for identifying what practices work well and what needs improvement. An initial evaluation of using the tool for organizational improvement has been performed utilizing both academia and industry. The results from the evaluation indicate that organizational characteristics influence how practices and experiences can be used. Experiences collected in postmortems are estimated to have little effect on improvements to practices used throughout the organization. However, in organizations where different practices are used in different parts of the organization, making practices available together with experiences from use, as well as having context information, can influence decisions on what practices to use in projects.

  • 9.
    Jabangwe, Ronald
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Börstler, Jürgen
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Handover of managerial responsibilities in global software development: a case study of source code evolution and quality2015In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 539-566Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies report on the negative effect on quality in global software development (GSD) due to communication and coordination-related challenges. However, empirical studies reporting on the magnitude of the effect are scarce. This paper presents findings from an embedded explanatory case study on the change in quality over time, across multiple releases, for products that were developed in a GSD setting. The GSD setting involved periods of distributed development between geographically dispersed sites as well as a handover of project management responsibilities between the involved sites. Investigations were performed on two medium-sized products from a company that is part of a large multinational corporation. Quality is investigated quantitatively using defect data and measures that quantify two source code properties, size and complexity. Observations were triangulated with subjective views from company representatives. There were no observable indications that the distribution of work or handover of project management responsibilities had an impact on quality on both products. Among the product-, process- and people-related success factors, we identified well-designed product architectures, early handover planning and support from the sending site to the receiving site after the handover and skilled employees at the involved sites. Overall, these results can be useful input for decision-makers who are considering distributing development work between globally dispersed sites or handing over project management responsibilities from one site to another. Moreover, our study shows that analyzing the evolution of size and complexity properties of a product’s source code can provide valuable information to support decision-making during similar projects. Finally, the strategy used by the company to relocate responsibilities can also be considered as an alternative for software transfers, which have been linked with a decline in efficiency, productivity and quality.

  • 10.
    Mendes, Emilia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Rodriguez, Pilar
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Freitas, Vitor
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Baker, Simon
    University of Cambridge, GBR.
    Atoui, Mohamed Amine
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Correction to: Towards improving decision making and estimating the value of decisions in value-based software engineering: the VALUE framework (Software Quality Journal, (2018), 26, 2, (607-656), 10.1007/s11219-017-9360-z)2018In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 1595-1596Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake in Figs. 1 and 21. © 2018, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

  • 11.
    Mendes, Emilia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
    Rodriguez, Pilar
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Freitas, Vitor
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Baker, Simon
    University of Cambridge, GBR.
    Atoui, Mohamed Amine
    University of Oulu, FIN.
    Towards improving decision making and estimating the value of decisions in value-based software engineering: the VALUE framework2018In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 607-656Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To sustain growth, maintain competitive advantage and to innovate, companies must make a paradigm shift in which both short- and long-term value aspects are employed to guide their decision-making. Such need is clearly pressing in innovative industries, such as ICT, and is also the core of Value-based Software Engineering (VBSE). The goal of this paper is to detail a framework called VALUE—improving decision-making relating to software-intensive products and services development—and to show its application in practice to a large ICT company in Finland. The VALUE framework includes a mixed-methods approach, as follows: to elicit key stakeholders’ tacit knowledge regarding factors used during a decision-making process, either transcripts from interviews with key stakeholders are analysed and validated in focus group meetings or focus-group meeting(s) are directly applied. These value factors are later used as input to a Web-based tool (Value tool) employed to support decision making. This tool was co-created with four industrial partners in this research via a design science approach that includes several case studies and focus-group meetings. Later, data on key stakeholders’ decisions gathered using the Value tool, plus additional input from key stakeholders, are used, in combination with the Expert-based Knowledge Engineering of Bayesian Network (EKEBN) process, coupled with the weighed sum algorithm (WSA) method, to build and validate a company-specific value estimation model. The application of our proposed framework to a real case, as part of an ongoing collaboration with a large software company (company A), is presented herein. Further, we also provide a detailed example, partially using real data on decisions, of a value estimation Bayesian network (BN) model for company A. This paper presents some empirical results from applying the VALUE Framework to a large ICT company; those relate to eliciting key stakeholders’ tacit knowledge, which is later used as input to a pilot study where these stakeholders employ the Value tool to select features for one of their company’s chief products. The data on decisions obtained from this pilot study is later applied to a detailed example on building a value estimation BN model for company A. We detail a framework—VALUE framework—to be used to help companies improve their value-based decisions and to go a step further and also estimate the overall value of each decision. © 2017 The Author(s)

  • 12.
    Mendes, Emilia
    et al.
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Winkler, Dietmar
    Technische Universitat Wien, AUT.
    Special issue on “software quality in software-intensive systems”2018In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 657-660Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Pernstal, J.
    et al.
    Volvo Cars, SWE.
    Feldt, Robert
    Chalmers, swe.
    Gorschek, Tony
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering. Blekinge Inst Technol, Software Engn, SE-37179 Karlskrona, Sweden..
    Floren, D.
    Volvo Cars, SWE.
    FLEX-RCA: a lean-based method for root cause analysis in software process improvement2019In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 389-428Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Software process improvement (SPI) is an instrument to increase the productivity of, and the quality of work, in software organizations. However, a majority of SPI frameworks are too extensive or provide guidance and potential improvement areas at a high level, indicating only the symptoms, not the causes. Motivated by the industrial need of two Swedish automotive companies to systematically uncover the underlying root causes of high-level improvement issues identified in an SPI project-assessing inter-departmental interactions in large-scale software systems development-this paper advances a root cause analysis (RCA) method building on Lean Six Sigma, called Flex-RCA. Flex-RCA is used to delve deeper into challenges identified to find root causes as a part of the evaluation and subsequent improvement activities. We also demonstrate and evaluate Flex-RCA's industrial applicability in a case study. An overall conclusion is that the use of Flex-RCA was successful, showing that it had the desired effect of both producing a broad base of causes on a high level and, more importantly, enabling an exploration of the underlying root causes.

  • 14. Solinski, Adam
    et al.
    Petersen, Kai
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Prioritizing agile benefits and limitations in relation to practice usage2016In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 24, no 2, p. 447-482Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In recent years, there has been significant shift from rigid development (RD) toward agile. However, it has also been spotted that agile methodologies are hardly ever followed in their pure form. Hybrid processes as combinations of RD and agile practices emerge. In addition, agile adoption has been reported to result in both benefits and limitations. This exploratory study (a) identifies development models based on RD and agile practice usage by practitioners; (b) identifies agile practice adoption scenarios based on eliciting practice usage over time; (c) prioritizes agile benefits and limitations in relation to (a) and (b). Practitioners provided answers through a questionnaire. The development models are determined using hierarchical cluster analysis. The use of practices over time is captured through an interactive board with practices and time indication sliders. This study uses the extended hierarchical voting analysis framework to investigate benefit and limitation prioritization. Four types of development models and six adoption scenarios have been identified. Overall, 45 practitioners participated in the prioritization study. A common benefit among all models and adoption patterns is knowledge and learning, while high requirements on professional skills were perceived as the main limitation. Furthermore, significant variances in terms of benefits and limitations have been observed between models and adoption patterns. The most significant internal benefit categories from adopting agile are knowledge and learning, employee satisfaction, social skill development, and feedback and confidence. Professional skill-specific demands, scalability, and lack of suitability for specific product domains are the main limitations of agile practice usage. Having a balanced agile process allows to achieve a high number of benefits. With respect to adoption, a big bang transition from RD to agile leads to poor quality in comparison with the alternatives.

  • 15.
    Sulaman, Sardar Muhammad
    et al.
    Lund University, SWE.
    Beer, Armin
    Beer Test Consulting, AUT.
    Felderer, Michael
    Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
    Höst, Martin
    Lund University, SWE.
    Comparison of the FMEA and STPA safety analysis methods: a case study2019In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 349-387Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As our society becomes more and more dependent on IT systems, failures of these systems can harm more and more people and organizations. Diligently performing risk and hazard analysis helps to minimize the potential harm of IT system failures on the society and increases the probability of their undisturbed operation. Risk and hazard analysis is an important activity for the development and operation of critical software intensive systems, but the increased complexity and size puts additional requirements on the effectiveness of risk and hazard analysis methods. This paper presents a qualitative comparison of two hazard analysis methods, failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) and system theoretic process analysis (STPA), using case study research methodology. Both methods have been applied on the same forward collision avoidance system to compare the effectiveness of the methods and to investigate what are the main differences between them. Furthermore, this study also evaluates the analysis process of both methods by using a qualitative criteria derived from the technology acceptance model (TAM). The results of the FMEA analysis were compared to the results of the STPA analysis, which were presented in a previous study. Both analyses were conducted on the same forward collision avoidance system. The comparison shows that FMEA and STPA deliver similar analysis results.

  • 16. Wohlin, Claes
    et al.
    Andrews, Anneliese Amschler
    Assessing project success using subjective evaluation factors2001In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 43-70Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Project evaluation is essential to understand and assess the key aspects of a project that make it either a success or failure. The latter is influenced by a large number of factors, and many times it is hard to measure them objectively. This paper addresses this by introducing a new method for identifying and assessing key project characteristics, which are crucial for a project's success. The method consists of a number of well-defined steps, which are described in detail. The method is applied to two case studies from different application domains and continents. It is concluded that patterns are possible to detect from the data sets. Further, the analysis of the two data sets shows that the proposed method using subjective factors is useful, since it provides an increased understanding, insight and assessment of which project factors might affect project success.

  • 17. Wohlin, Claes
    et al.
    Lundberg, Lars
    Mattsson, Michael
    Special Issue: Trade-off Analysis of Software Quality Attributes2005In: Software quality journal, ISSN 0963-9314, E-ISSN 1573-1367, Vol. 13, no 4, p. 327-328Article in journal (Refereed)
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