Using a Cognitive Psychology Perspective on Errors to Improve Requirements Quality: An Empirical Investigation

Vaibhav Anu, Gursimran Walia, Wenhua Hu, Jeffrey C. Carver, Gary Bradshaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Software inspections are an effective method for early detection of faults present in software development artifacts (e.g., requirements and design documents). However, many faults are left undetected due to the lack of focus on the underlying sources of faults (i.e., what caused the injection of the fault?). To address this problem, research work done by Psychologists on analyzing the failures of human cognition (i.e., human errors) is being used in this research to help inspectors detect errors and corresponding faults (manifestations of errors) in requirements documents. We hypothesize that the fault detection performance will demonstrate significant gains when using a formal taxonomy of human errors (the underlying source of faults). This paper describes a newly developed Human Error Taxonomy (HET) and a formal Error-Abstraction and Inspection (EAI) process to improve fault detection performance of inspectors during the requirements inspection. A controlled empirical study evaluated the usefulness of HET and EAI compared to fault based inspection. The results verify our hypothesis and provide useful insights into commonly occurring human errors that contributed to requirement faults along with areas to further refine both the HET and the EAI process.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE 27th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE 2016
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages65-76
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781467390019
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Dec 2016
Event27th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE 2016 - Ottawa, United States
Duration: 23 Oct 201627 Oct 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE
ISSN (Print)1071-9458

Conference

Conference27th IEEE International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE 2016
CountryUnited States
CityOttawa
Period23/10/1627/10/16

Keywords

  • human error
  • requirements inspection
  • taxonomy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Using a Cognitive Psychology Perspective on Errors to Improve Requirements Quality: An Empirical Investigation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Anu, V., Walia, G., Hu, W., Carver, J. C., & Bradshaw, G. (2016). Using a Cognitive Psychology Perspective on Errors to Improve Requirements Quality: An Empirical Investigation. In Proceedings - 2016 IEEE 27th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE 2016 (pp. 65-76). [7774508] (Proceedings - International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, ISSRE). IEEE Computer Society. https://doi.org/10.1109/ISSRE.2016.41