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ABSTRACT: This paper first reasons on understanding software frameworks for defect detection, and then presents an experimental research for comparing the effectiveness and defect detection rate of code-reading techniques, once applied to C++ coded object-oriented frameworks. We present and discuss the functionality-based approach to framework understanding. Then, we present an experiment that compared three reading techniques for inspection of software frameworks. Two of those reading techniques, namely checklist-based reading, and systematic order-based reading, were adopted from scientific literature, while the third one, namely functionality-based reading, was derived from the functionality-based approach. The results of the experiment are that (1) functionality-based reading is much more effective and efficient than checklist based reading. (2) Functionality-based Reading is significantly more effective and efficient than systematic order-based reading. (3) Systematic order-based reading performs significantly better than checklist based reading for what concerns defect detection rate. However, because we used checklist-based reading and systematic order-based reading quite as they are, with limited adaptation to frameworks, it is too early to draw strong conclusions from the experiment results and improving and replicating this study is strongly recommended.
2004 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering (ISESE 2004), 19-20 August 2004, Redondo Beach, CA, USA; 01/2004