Active Design Reviews. Doug Paida Roy Mammen Sharan Mudgal Jerry Cheng. Overview. What is design review? Taxonomy Limitations of Conventional approach Walking through the Active Review Process using an example Conclusions. What is a design review?.
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Active Design Reviews Doug Paida Roy Mammen Sharan Mudgal Jerry Cheng
Overview • What is design review? • Taxonomy • Limitations of Conventional approach • Walking through the Active Review Process using an example • Conclusions
What is a design review? • A process of identifying faults in the design of a software program • Review should uncover both errors made in producing design documents, and errors made earlier in the design process
Taxonomy • Structured Walkthrough • author of the design and one or more other developers familiar with the development activity are involved • Code Reading • two or more developers read the code independently • Discuss with the author
Taxonomy • Code Inspection • The process definition included planning, preparation , inspection, rework and follow up with specific roles define for the participants • author/reader paraphrases the material, while the participants ask question that may lead to the discovery of defects • Software Review • The reviewers go through the material individually using a checklist • The author collects the checklists and consolidates the results.
Taxonomy • Active Design Review • The questionnaire focuses the reviewer's attention on a particular set of issue • reviewers concentrate on different sets of issues. • The author meets with the reviewers individually to review their findings. • Defect-Based Reading • possible defects in requirements documents • For each defect class a set of questions was developed that would characterize the defect class • The questions also characterize a set of steps that should be performed while reading called scenarios. the reader tries to answer the questions provided in the scenario.
Taxonomy • Meetingless Reviews • As effective as meeting-based ones • Individual strategies find more issues to resolve but these have a higher false positive and duplication rates • The duplication rates can be reduced by specializing the roles during the process. • Computer-mediated Technical Reviews • supporting clerical functions of distribution and defect report collection and rework tracking. • Aimed at synchronous distributed reviews where the review is not required to be in the room.
Limitations of Conventional approach • Too much information to go through, and not enough time to do it thoroughly • Unfamiliarity of individual reviewers with the overall goals of the design • No single part of the design gets a thorough and complete evaluation
(continued) • Burden is on reviewer to initiate action • One-on-one interaction between individual reviewers and design team is limited • No systematic procedure – generally more free-form type of format
Active Design Review Process • Change from “general” review to a set of more focused reviews • Use questionnaires to actively engage the reviewer in using the design • More opportunities for one-on-one discussion between reviewer and designer
A design example • We have been asked to review a design for a module which is part of an order processing system for a hospital. • The order processing system allows users to order items for patients, such as tests or medications. • The module we are reviewing acts as an interface between the order database and other modules in the system, hiding details of the actual database tables used.
Design Example (cont.) Order Processing System Add/Cancel Order Print/Display Orders Orders Order Item Database Interface Database
Module requirements • An order must contain at least these data items: • Patient ID • List of items being ordered. There must always be at least one item in every order. • Date/time the items are being ordered for • Status of the order (active or cancelled) • An item in an order contains these data items: • Item ID • Quantity ordered
Module requirements • Basic functionality required • Add a new order for a patient • Change an order’s status to “cancelled” • Obtain the number of orders a patient has • Iterate through all orders for a patient • Iterate through all items within an order
Module requirements • Actions that should be prohibited • Making order active again once it is cancelled • Adding items to an order after it’s been posted to the database
Module specification • Data in the Order class • int patientID • int orderID • Date orderDateTime • int status • Vector items
Module specification • Access functions for Order class • void addItem(Item i) • Item getFirstItem() • Item getNextItem() • int numItems() • void setStatusToCancelled() • Date getOrderDateTime() • int getStatus()
Module specification • Data for Item class • int itemID • int quantity • Access functions for Item class • int getItemID() • int getQuantity()
Module specification • Access functions for Orders class • void submitOrder(Order o) • void updateOrder(Order o) • Order getOrder(int orderID) • Order getFirstOrder(int patientID) • Order getNextOrder() • int numOrders(int patientID)
Module specification • Undesired Events • getNextOrder() called before getFirstOrder() • addItem() called on an order that’s already been posted to the database
Steps for Active Design Review • Prepare design and documentation for review • Identify for specialized reviews • Identify the reviewers needed • Design the questionnaires • Conduct the review
Active Design Review ProcessStep 1: Prepare the design for review • Think about what criteria reviewers will use: • Well-structured • Simple • Efficient • Adequate • Flexible • Practical • Implementable • Standardized
Active Design Review ProcessStep 1: Prepare the documentation for review • Make assumptions explicit • Module can record the order pertaining to a patient. • It is possible to obtain all the orders for a patient. • Module can determine & change the status of an order. • The order always contains at least one item • The status of an order is always in one of the two states i.e active or cancelled.
Active Design Review ProcessStep 1: Prepare the documentation for review • Incorrect Usage Assumptions (UE) • Cannot add or remove items once the order is placed. • Once an order is cancelled, the status cannot be set to active again. • An item is always added with respect to an order.
Active Design Review ProcessStep 2: Identify the specialized reviews • Focus the reviewer’s attention on specific properties of the design • Data Access Sufficiency. Provides all data required by the other modules ? • Assumption Sufficiency. Contains all assumptions needed by the user program to efficiently access the DB ? • Consistency between Assumptions and Functions. Assumptions? Access Functions? UE?
Active Design Review ProcessStep 3: Identify the reviewers needed • People with different perspectives and expertise are needed as reviewers • Programmers and analysts who worked on the other modules in this order processing system. • Programmers and analysts familiar with hospital information systems in general.
Active Design Review ProcessStep 4: Design the questionnaires • Make reviewers take an active role • Make them use the documentation • Phrase questions in an active way • “Write down the exceptions that can occur” rather than “Are exceptions defined for every program?”
Active Design Review ProcessStep 5: Conduct the review • Present an overview of the module • Assign reviews to reviewers • Reviewers complete their reviews, meeting with designers as needed • Designers review completed questionnaires, and meet with reviewers to resolve questions • Designers produce new version of the documentation
Sample Review: Data Access Sufficiency • the access functions should be evaluated to ensure that access is provided to all data required by the other modules • piece of data about an order that cannot be retrieved through an access function but needed reflects error in design. • possible to modify the value of any piece of data in violation of the stated requirements, then there is a design error. • The module specifications should be reviewed by programmers of the other order processing system modules for their ability to satisfy these criteria.
Example Questionnaire The following questions should be used to aid in this review • Using the access functions provided in the module specification, write the code you would use to obtain the date/time, item number and quantity ordered for all active orders for a patient. • Attempt to come up with a sequence of access function calls that would allow a program to set a cancelled order’s status to active. • For each access function provided, write down the specific requirements from the requirements list that you believe the function was designed to meet. Make note of any functions that do not appear to satisfy any specific requirements
Conclusions • Reviewers focus on those areas they are best suited to evaluate • Time is used more wisely for all participants • More errors are likely to be found • One-on-one communication with designers makes it easier for people to speak up • Few errors found not necessarily indicate that the design is good, but that the review process was not as effective as it could have been