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You are here: Home » Case Studies » Improved monitoring and prediction of software defects

Improved monitoring and prediction of software defects

Problem

  • Software is increasingly used to build embedded components which may be safety-critical (such as in transport systems) or business critical (such as in electronic devices like TVs and DVD players)
  • These embedded software components are getting larger and more complex
  • Companies like Philips must be sure that defects in embedded software components are kept to an absolute minimum, since recall of such devices is impossible
  • Organisations building safety critical components must be able to satisfy regulators than the number of defects is minimal
  • In all such case software project managers need to know, with confidence, how much more testing is required before the software can be released
  • They also need to know, with confidence, how reliable the software will be in operation

Solution

  • We developed a class of risk maps in AgenaRisk that used information available at all stages of the software life cycle to monitor and predict defect risks
  • AgenaRisk modelled the processes of defect insertion and discovery at the software module level
  • AgenaRisk predicted the number of residual defects at various life cycle phases and with various different types of assumptions about the design and testing process

Benefits

  • At Philips AgenaRisk's predictions on a range of projects were 95% accurate. Specifically the correlation between defects predicted by AgenaRisk and actual defects discovered was 95%. Other approaches achieve at best 70% accuracy
  • AgenaRisk supports process improvement assesments and decisions - accurate prediction means that testing and rework effort can be assigned more efficiently
  • Overall effect of more accurate predictions is higher software quality and lower testing costs