Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 119–142 | Cite as

Perspective-Based Reading: A Replicated Experiment Focused on Individual Reviewer Effectiveness

  • José C. Maldonado
  • Jeffrey Carver
  • Forrest Shull
  • Sandra Fabbri
  • Emerson Dória
  • Luciana Martimiano
  • Manoel Mendonça
  • Victor Basili
Regular Paper


This paper describes a replication conducted to compare the effectiveness of inspectors using Perspective Based Reading (PBR) to the effectiveness of inspectors using a checklist. The goal of this replication was to better understand the complementary aspects of the PBR perspectives. To this end, a brief discussion of the original study is provided as well as a more detailed description of the replication. A detailed statistical analysis is then provided along with analysis of the PBR perspectives.

For the individual PBR perspectives, we saw an interesting dichotomy: In the original study there was little overlap among the sets of defects found by each of the three perspectives, while in the replication two of the three perspectives found similar sets of defects on one of the two documents used in the study. Interestingly this document was the only case where the users of PBR were not more effective than the users of a checklist. This result leads to a new hypothesis that the complementary aspect of the PBR perspectives is the characteristic that provides the benefit over other defect detection techniques.


Software inspections Experimental replication Laboratory package Software reading techniques Requirements documents 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Basili V, Green S, Laitenberger O, Shull F, Sorumgaard S Zelkowitz M (1996) The empirical investigation of perspective based reading. Empir Softw Eng-Int J 1:133–164Google Scholar
  2. Ciolkowski M, Differding C, Laitenberger O, Munch J (1997) Empirical investigation of perspective-based reading: a replicated experiment. ISERN 97–13Google Scholar
  3. Conradi R, Mahagheghi P, Arif T, Hegde LC, Bunde GA, Pedersen A (2003) Object-oriented reading techniques for inspection of uml models—an industrial experiment. Proc of Eur Conf on Object Oriented Program (ECOOP'03). Darmstadt, Germany, pp. 483–500. Darmstadt, Germany, 483–500Google Scholar
  4. Laitenberger O, Atkinson C, Schlich M, El Emam K (2000) An experimental comparison of reading techniques for defect detection in uml design documents. J Syst Softw 53: 183–204Google Scholar
  5. Laitenberger O, El Emam K, Harbich TG (2001) An internally replicated quasi-experimental comparison of checklist and perspective based reading of code documents. IEEE Trans Softw Eng 27:387–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Mendonca M, Sunderhaft NL (1999) A state of the Art Report: Mining Software Engineering Data. Department of Defense (DoD) Data & Analysis Center for Software Engineering DataGoogle Scholar
  7. Porter A, Votta L (1998) Comparing detection methods for software requirements inspections: a replication using professional subjects. Empir Softw Eng-Int Journal 3:355–379Google Scholar
  8. Regnell B, Runeson P, Thelin T (2000) Are the perspectives really different? Further experimentation on scenario-based reading of requirements. Empir Softw Eng 5:331–356Google Scholar
  9. Robson C (2002) Real World Research. Blackwell Publishing, Malden: MAGoogle Scholar
  10. Shull F (1998) Developing Techniques for Using Software Documents: A Series of Empirical Studies. Ph.D. Thesis. Department of Computer Science, University of Maryland, College ParkGoogle Scholar
  11. Shull F, Basili V, Boehm B, Brown AW, Costa P, Lindvall M, Port D, Rus I, Tesoriero R, Zelkowitz M (2002a). What we have learned about fighting defects. Proc IEEE Symp on Softw Metr 249–258Google Scholar
  12. Shull F, Basili V, Carver J, Maldonado J, Travassos G, Mendonca M, Fabbri S (2002b) Replicating Software Engineering Experiments: Addressing the Tacit Knowledge Problem. Proc of Int Symp Empir Softw Eng (ISESE'02). Nara, Japan, pp. 7–16Google Scholar
  13. Zhang Z, Basili V, Shneiderman B (1999) Perspective-based usability inspection: an empirical validation of efficacy. Empirical Software Engineering—An International Journal 4:43–70Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • José C. Maldonado
    • 1
  • Jeffrey Carver
    • 2
  • Forrest Shull
    • 3
  • Sandra Fabbri
    • 4
  • Emerson Dória
    • 5
  • Luciana Martimiano
    • 6
  • Manoel Mendonça
    • 7
  • Victor Basili
    • 8
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências da ComputaçãoInstituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC-USP)São CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringMississippi State UniversityMississippi StateUSA
  3. 3.Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering, MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  4. 4.Departamento de ComputaçãoUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSão CarlosBrazil
  5. 5.Universidade do Oeste Paulista, Faculdade de Informática de Presidente PrudenteRua José Bongiovani, 700 - Cidade UniversitáriaSão CarlosBrazil
  6. 6.Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC-USP)São CarlosBrazil
  7. 7.Departamento de Ciências Exatas—NUPERCUniversidade SalvadorOliveiraBrazil
  8. 8.Fraunhofer Center for Experimental Software Engineering and Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of MarylandMarylandUSA

Personalised recommendations