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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What is Cleanroom Software Engineering?

Cleanroom software engineering is one of the fastest emerging software development processes and has been designed for the production of the software systems and applications with a reliability of certificate level. The credit for the development of this process goes to Harlan Mills and a couple of his colleagues among which one was Alan Hevner at the IBM Corporation. 

What is Cleanroom Software Engineering?

- The cleanroom software engineering is focused on defect prevention rather than their effective removal. 
- The process was named so since the word cleanroom evoked the sense of cleanrooms that are used by the electronics industry for preventing the defects from entering the semiconductors during the fabrication process. 
- The first time when the cleanroom process was used was in the late 80s. 
- This process began to be used for military demonstration process in the early 1990s. 

Principles of Cleanroom Approach

Cleanroom process has its own principles which we have discussed below:
  1. Development of software systems and applications based up on formal methods: Box structure method is what that is used by the cleanroom development for specifying and designing a software product. Later, team review is used for carrying out verification of the design i.e., whether it has been correctly implemented or not.
  2. Statistical quality control through incremental implementation: An iterative approach is followed in the cleanroom software engineering process i.e., the software system is evolved through increments in which the implemented functionality gradually increases. Pre–established standards are used for measuring the quality of all the increments for making verification that the process is making acceptable process. In case the process fails to meet the quality standards, testing of the current increment is stopped and the process is returned to the designing phase.
  3. Statistically sound testing: Software testing in cleanroom development process is carried as a disguise of a statistical experiment. A subset that represents software’s i/p and o/p trajectories is selected and then subjected to testing. The sample so obtained is  then considered for statistical analyzation so as to get an estimation  of the software’s reliability and level of confidence.

Features of Cleanroom Software Engineering

Software products developed using the cleanroom software engineering process have zero defects at the delivery time. Below mentioned are some of the characteristics features of the cleanroom software engineering:
  1. Statistical modeling
  2. Usage scenarios
  3. Incremental development and release
  4. Separate acceptance testing
  5. No requirement of unit testing and debugging
  6. Formal reviews with verification conditions
The defects rate was recorded as follows:
  1. <3 .5=".5" and="and" delivered="delivered" kloc="kloc" o:p="o:p" per="per">
  • 2.7 Per KLOC between first execution and first delivery.
  • Basic technologies thus used can be listed as:
    1. Incremental development: Each increment is carried out from end – to – end and in some cases there is overlapping development of the increments. This whole process takes around 12 – 18 weeks and partitioning though being critical proves to be difficult.
    2. Function – theoretical verification: A parser may check the constructed program for syntax errors but it cannot be executed by the program developer. Verification conditions drive the team review for verification. Verification is improved by 3- 5 times than debugging. Formal inspections also fall under this category.
    3. Formal specifications: This further includes:
    a)    Box structured specification: It includes 3 types of boxes namely:
    Ø  Black box
    Ø  State box
    Ø  Clear box
    b)    Verification properties
    c)    Program functions
    1. Statistical usage testing: It helps in implementing cost effective orientation and process control. It provides a stratification mechanism to deal with situations that are critical. 

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