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Technical Reports

USC-CSE-76-501

Barry Boehm, J. R. Brown, M. Lipow, "Quantitative Evaluation of Software Quality," Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Software Engineering, San Francisco, California, 1976, pp. 592-605 (pdf)

The study reported in this paper establishes a conceptual framework and some key initial results in the analysis of the characteristics of software quality. Its main results and conclusions are:

• Explicit attention to characteristics of software quality can lead to significant savings in software life-cycle costs.
• The current software state-of-the-art imposes specific limitations on our ability to automatically and quantitatively evaluate the quality of software.
• A definitive hierarchy of well-defined, well-differentiated characteristics of software quality is developed. Its higher-level structure reflects the actual uses to which software quality evaluation would be put; its lower-level characteristics are closely correlated with actual software metric evaluations which can be performed.
• A large number of software quality-evaluation metrics have been defined, classified, and evaluated with respect to their potential benefits, quantifiability, and ease of automation.
• Particular software life-cycle activities have been identified which have significant leverage on software quality.

Most importantly, we believe that the study reported in this paper provides for the first time a clear, well-defined framework for assessing the often slippery issues associated with software quality, via the consistent and mutually supportive sets of definitions, distinctions, guidelines, and experiences cited. This framework is certainly not complete, but it has been brought to a point sufficient to serve as a viable basis for future refinements and extensions.

Added September 18th, 2008


USC-CSE-76-500

Barry Boehm, "Software Engineering," IEEE Transaction on Computers, Volume C-25, Number 12, December 1976, pp. 1226-1241 (pdf)

This paper provides a definition of the term "software engineering" and a survey of the current state of the art and likely future trends in the field. The survey covers the technology available in the various phases of the software life cycle-requirements engineering, design, coding, test, and maintenance-and in the overall area of software management and integrated technologymanagement approaches. It is oriented primarily toward discussing the domain of applicability of techniques (where and when they work), rather than how they work in detail. To cover the latter, an extensive set of 104 references is provided.

Added June 6th, 2008


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