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Software Quality Assurance

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131429D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 5 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Edward Miller: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Although long recognized as a serious problem, many of the issues encountered in assuring the quality of computer programs have only received the level of attention they deserve in the last decade.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Software Quality Assurance

Guest Editor's Introduction

Edward Miller

Software Research Associates

Although long recognized as a serious problem, many of the issues encountered in assuring the quality of computer programs have only received the level of attention they deserve in the last decade.

For example, the first conference devoted to quality assurance was held in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in June 1972. This conference led to the publication of a book, Program Test Methods, that served to isolate some of the key problems of quality assurance.' From that milestone event there appeared to grow a number of technical projects and activities which in aggregrate produced a substantial technical literature dealing with software quality assurance primarily through systematic testings Much work was also done based on the "opposite" approach -- i.e.,formal program proofs of correctness. That work also led to significant developments and results, many of which are still being reported.3 4 Many of the results from the program proving arena are very promising, but they have not had as much practical application as the more down-to-earth and direct techniques of testing-oriented quality assurance.

For readers who wish some background on quality assurance it is possible to cite a number of items and/or events that are worth looking into for source material. For example, the April 1977 issue of Computer was devoted specifically to software testing methodologies.5 Some excellent papers are in the InfoTech report on software testing.6 The excellent series edited by Prof. Raymond T. Yeh includes a volume devoted to program validations and there is a new book by author/lecturer Glenford J. Meyers devoted to software testing methods.8 Technical backup for modern quality assurance is provided in a current IEEE Computer Society collection of reprints focusing on software testing and validation methods.9 More recently, a workshop on software testing and test documentation was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (December 1978),1 which led to the development of some of the papers in this special issue.

The six papers included in this issue form a crosssection of software quality assurance methods that ranges from detailed design of critical systems, to establishment of IEEE Computer Society proposed standards for software quality assurance procedures.

Protecting critical systems

In "Program Testing Techniques for Nuclear Reactor Protection Systems," authors Geiger, Gmeiner, Trauboth, and Voges relate experiences with a variety of meth...