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Issue No. 08 - August (2006 vol. 32)
ISSN: 0098-5589
pp: 571-586
ABSTRACT
Design by contract is a lightweight technique for embedding elements of formal specification (such as invariants, pre and postconditions) into an object-oriented design. When contracts are made executable, they can play the role of embedded, online oracles. Executable contracts allow components to be responsive to erroneous states and, thus, may help in detecting and locating faults. In this paper, we define vigilance as the degree to which a program is able to detect an erroneous state at runtime. Diagnosability represents the effort needed to locate a fault once it has been detected. In order to estimate the benefit of using design by contract, we formalize both notions of vigilance and diagnosability as software quality measures. The main steps of measure elaboration are given, from informal definitions of the factors to be measured to the mathematical model of the measures. As is the standard in this domain, the parameters are then fixed through actual measures, based on a mutation analysis in our case. Several measures are presented that reveal and estimate the contribution of contracts to the overall quality of a system in terms of vigilance and diagnosability
INDEX TERMS
formal specification, object-oriented methods, object-oriented programming, program debugging, program diagnostics, program verification, software fault tolerance, software metrics, software quality,design by contract, software vigilance improvement, formal specification, object-oriented design method, embedded online oracle, executable contract, software fault detection, program runtime erroneous state detection, software diagnosability, software quality measure, mathematical model, mutation analysis, software metrics,Contracts, Fault detection, Embedded software, Formal specifications, Mathematical model, Object oriented modeling, Runtime, Software quality, Software measurement, Measurement standards,Object-oriented design methods, programming by contract, diagnostics, metrics.
CITATION
"Design by Contract to Improve Software Vigilance", IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 32, no. , pp. 571-586, August 2006, doi:10.1109/TSE.2006.79
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