This Article 
   
 Share 
   
 Bibliographic References 
   
 Add to: 
 
Digg
Furl
Spurl
Blink
Simpy
Google
Del.icio.us
Y!MyWeb
 
 Search 
   
Optimum Control Limits for Employing Statistical Process Control in Software Process
December 2002 (vol. 28 no. 12)
pp. 1126-1134

Abstract—There is an increased interest in using control charts for monitoring and improving software processes, particularly quality control processes like reviews and testing. In a control chart, control limits are established for some attributes and, if any point falls outside the limits, it is assumed to be due to some special causes that need to be identified and eliminated. If the control limits are too tight, they may raise too many “false alarms” and, if they are too wide, they may miss some special situations. Optimal control limits will try to minimize the cost of these errors. In this paper, we develop a cost model for employing control charts to software process using which optimum control limits can be determined. Our applications of the model suggest that, for quality control processes like the inspection process, the optimum control limits may be tighter than what is commonly used in manufacturing. We have also implemented this model as a web-service that can be used for determining optimum control limits.

[1] V.R. Basili and D.M. Weiss, “Evaluation of a Software Requirements Document by Analysis of Change Data,” IEEE Trans. Software Eng., vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 728-738, 1981.
[2] B. Boehm, Software Engineering Economics, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1981, pp. 533-535.
[3] D. Card and R.A. Berg, “An Industrial Engineering Approach to Software Development,” J. Systems and Software, vol. 10, pp. 159-168, 1989.
[4] D. Card and R.L. Glass, Measuring Software Design Quality. Prentice Hall, 1990.
[5] D. Card, “Statistical Process Control for Software,” IEEE Software, pp. 95-97, May 1994.
[6] C.W. Champ and W.H. Woodall, “Exact Results for Shewhart Control Charts with Supplimentary Run Rules,” Technometrics, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 393-399, 1987.
[7] W.K. Chiu and G.B. Wetherill, “A Simplified Scheme for the Economic Design of$\big. \bar X\bigr.$Charts,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 63-69, Apr. 1974.
[8] R.G. Ebenau, “Predictive Quality Control with Software Inspections,” Crosstalk, June 1994.
[9] E. von Collani, “A Simple Procedure to Determine the Economic Design of an$\big. \bar X\bigr.$Control Chart,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 145-151, July 1986.
[10] W.A. Florac and A.D. Carleton, Measuring the Software Process: Statistical Process Control for Software Process Improvement, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Mass., 1999.
[11] W.A. Florac, A.D. Carleton, and J.R. Bernard, “Statistical Process Control: Analyzing a Space Shuttle Onboard Software Process,” IEEE Software, pp. 97-106, July/Aug. 2000.
[12] A. Florence, “CMM Level 4 Quantitative Analysis and Defect Prevention,” Crosstalk, Feb. 2001.
[13] D.P. Freedman and G.M. Weinberg, Handbook of Walkthroughs, Inspections, and Technical Reviews—Evaluating Programs, Projects, and Products. Dorset House, 1990.
[14] J.S. Gardiner and D.C. Montgomery, “Using Statistical Control Charts for Software Quality Control,” Quality and Reliability Eng. Int'l, vol. 3, pp. 40-43, 1987.
[15] T. Gilb and D. Graham, Software Inspection, Addison-Wesley, 1993.
[16] C. Ho and K.E. Case, “Economic Design of Control Charts: A Literature Review for 1981-1991,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 39-53, Jan. 1994.
[17] R.L. Iman, J.C. Helton, and J.E. Campbell, “An Approach to Sensitivity Analysis of Computer Models: Part I—Introduction, Input Variable Selection and Preliminary Variable Assessment,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 174-183, July 1981.
[18] R.L. Iman, J.C. Helton, and J.E. Campbell, “An Approach to Sensitivity Analysis of Computer Models: Part II—Ranking of Input Variable, Response Surface Validation, Distribution Effect and Technique Synopsis,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 232-240, Oct. 1981.
[19] P. Jalote, CMM in Practice : Processes for Executing Software Projects at Infosys. Addison-Wesley, 1999.
[20] P. Jalote, Software Project Management in Practice. Addison-Wesley, 2002.
[21] P. Jalote, “Use of Metrics in High Maturity Organizations” Proc. Software Eng. Process Group Conf. (SEPG '00), Mar. 2002.
[22] P. Jalote, S. Raghavan, M.R. Bhashyam, K. Dinesh, and S. Ramakrishna, “Quantitative Quality Management through Defect Prediction and Statistical Process Control” Proc. Second World Quality Congress for Software, Sept. 2000.
[23] D.C. Montgomery, Introduction to Statistical Quality Control, third ed. John Wiley&Sons, 1996.
[24] D.C. Montgomery, “The Economic Design of Control Charts: A Review and Literature Survey,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 75-87, Apr. 1980.
[25] D.C. Montgomery, “Economic Design of an ($\big. \bar X\bigr.$) Control Charts,” J. Quality Technology, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 40-43, 1982.
[26] Software Engineering Institute, The Capability Maturity Model for Software: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process, M.C. Paulk et al., principal contributors and eds., Addison-Wesley, 1995.
[27] M.C. Paulk, “Applying SPC to the Personal Software Process,” Proc. 10 Int'l Conf. Software Quality, Oct. 2000.
[28] R. Radice, “Statistical Process Control in Level 4 and 5 Organizations Worldwide,” Proc. 12th Ann. Software Technology Conf., 2000, also available atwww.stt.com.
[29] K.S. Trivedi, Probability and Statistics with Reliability, Queuing, and Computer Science Applications. Prentice Hall, 1982.
[30] E. Weller, “Applying Statistical Process Control to Software Maintenance,” Proc. Applications of Software Measurement, 1995.
[31] E.F. Weller, "Practical Applications of Statistical Process Control," IEEE Software, Vol. 17, No. 3, May/June 2000, pp. 48-55.
[32] E. Weller, “Applying Quantitative Methods to Software Maintenance,” ASQ Software Quality Professional, vol. 3, no. 1, Dec. 2000, also available fromwww.stt.com.
[33] D.J. Wheeler and D.S. Chambers, Understanding Statistical Process Control, second ed. Knoxville, Tenn.: SPC Press, 1992.
[34] R.E. Zultner, “What Do Our Metrics Mean?” Cutter IT J., vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 11-19, Apr. 1999.

Index Terms:
Software metrics, software process improvement (SPI), statistical process control (SPC), control charts, inspections/reviews, software quality control.
Citation:
Pankaj Jalote, Ashish Saxena, "Optimum Control Limits for Employing Statistical Process Control in Software Process," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 28, no. 12, pp. 1126-1134, Dec. 2002, doi:10.1109/TSE.2002.1158286
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.