Towards an Ontology of Software Defects, Errors and Failures

  • Bruno Borlini Duarte
  • Ricardo A. Falbo
  • Giancarlo Guizzardi
  • Renata S. S. Guizzardi
  • Vítor E. S. SouzaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11157)


The rational management of software defects is a fundamental requirement for a mature software industry. Standards, guides and capability models directly emphasize how important it is for an organization to know and to have a well-established history of failures, errors and defects as they occur in software activities. The problem is that each of these reference models employs its own vocabulary to deal with these phenomena, which can lead to a deficiency in the understanding of these notions by software engineers, potential interoperability problems between supporting tools, and, consequently, to a poorer adoption of these standards and tools in practice. We address this problem of the lack of a consensual conceptualization in this area by proposing a reference conceptual model (domain ontology) of Software Defects, Errors and Failures, which takes into account an ecosystem of software artifacts. The ontology is grounded on the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) and is based on well-known standards, guides and capability models. We demonstrate how this approach can suitably promote conceptual clarification and terminological harmonization in this area.


Ontologies in software engineering UFO Software anomaly 



NEMO ( is currently supported by Brazilian research funding agencies CNPq (process 407235/2017-5), CAPES (process 23038. 028816/2016-41), and FAPES (process 69382549/2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruno Borlini Duarte
    • 1
  • Ricardo A. Falbo
    • 1
  • Giancarlo Guizzardi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Renata S. S. Guizzardi
    • 1
  • Vítor E. S. Souza
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Ontology and Conceptual Modeling Research Group (NEMO)Federal University of Espírito SantoVitóriaBrazil
  2. 2.Conceptual and Cognitive Modeling Research Group (CORE)Free University of Bolzano-BozenBolzanoItaly

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