Object-Oriented Reading Techniques for Inspection of UML Models – An Industrial Experiment

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Object-oriented design and modeling with UML has become a central part of software development in industry. Software inspections are used to cost-efficiently increase the quality of the developed software by early defect detection and correction. Several models presenting the total system need to be inspected for consistency with each other and with external documents such as requirement specifications. Special Object Oriented Reading Techniques (OORTs) have been developed to help inspectors in the individual reading step of inspection of UML models. The paper describes an experiment performed at Ericsson in Norway to evaluate the cost-efficiency of tailored OORTs in a large-scale software project. The results showed that the OORTs fit well into an incremental development process, and managed to detect defects not found by the existing reading techniques. The study demonstrated the need for further development and empirical assessment of these techniques, and for better integration with industrial work practice.