Usage-Based Reading - An Experiment to Guide Reviewers with Use Cases

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Reading methods for software inspections are used for aiding reviewers to focus on special aspects in a software artefact. Many experiments have been conducted for checklist-based reading and scenario-based reading concluding that the focus is important for software reviewers. This paper describes and evaluates a reading technique called usage-based reading (UBR). UBR utilises prioritised use cases to guide reviewers through an inspection. More importantly, UBR drives the reviewers to focus on the software parts that are most important for the customer. An experiment was conducted on 27 third year Bachelor's software engineering students, where one group used use cases sorted in a prioritised order and the control group used randomly ordered use cases. The main result is that reviewers in the group with prioritised use cases are significantly more efficient and effective in detecting the most critical faults from a customer's point of view. Consequently, UBR has the potential to become an important reading technique. Future extensions to the reading technique are suggested and experiences gained from the experiment to support replications are provided.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Computer Science


  • Scenario-Based Reading, Software Inspection, Controlled Experiment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)925-938
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Publication categoryResearch