A study of the effect of imperfect debugging on software development cost

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-473
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes


It is widely recognized that the debugging processes are usually imperfect. Software faults are not completely removed because of the difficulty in locating them or because new faults might be introduced. Hence, it is of great importance to investigate the effect of the imperfect debugging on software development cost, which, in turn, might affect the optimal software release time or operational budget. In this paper, a commonly used cost model is extended to the case of imperfect debugging. Based on this, the effect of imperfect debugging is studied. As the probability of perfect debugging, termed testing level here, is expensive to be increased, but manageable to a certain extent with additional resources, a model incorporating this situation is presented. Moreover, the problem of determining the optimal testing level is considered. This is useful when the decisions regarding the test team composition, testing strategy, etc., are to be made for more effective testing.

Research Area(s)

  • Development cost, Imperfect debugging, Software reliability, Testing level, Testing optimization