ISSRE Keynote: Victor Basili

Using Measures and Risk Indicators for Early Insight Into Software Product Characteristics such as Software Safety (Slides)

Assuming there is a relationship between the processes used during software development and the product's characteristics, a lack of process suggests there is a risk of achieving the proper product characteristics. Analysis of intermediate outputs during development can provide insight into whether appropriate processes are being performed. The accumulation of this kind of project data allows us to build baselines and recognize bounds and ranges for interpreting data. Projects can take advantage of this information to make problems visible through measurement and propose actions that can be taken to keep a project on track for achieving these project characteristics.

Software Safety is one such product characteristic and this approach has been applied to identifying software safety insight areas and goals and developing early software safety measures, models and responses. Although the actual safety of a system cannot be verified during development, measures can reveal early insights into potential safety problems and risks. The approach and the example software measures presented are based on experience working with the safety engineering group on a large Department of Defense program.


Victor Basili is Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. He holds a PH.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas and two honorary degrees. He was Director of the Fraunhofer Center - Maryland and a director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA/GSFC. He has worked on measuring, evaluating, and improving the software development process and product for over 35 years with numerous companies and government agencies. Methods include Iterative Enhancement, the Goal Question Metric Approach (GQM), the Quality Improvement paradigm (QIP), and the Experience Factory(EF).

Dr. Basili has authored over 250 peer reviewed publications and is a recipient of several awards including the NASA Group Achievement Awards, ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Research Award, IEEE Computer Society Harlan Mills Award, and the Fraunhofer Medal. He is Co-EIC of the Springer Empirical Software Engineering Journal and an IEEE and ACM Fellow. For more information, please see his Home Page

References on the UMD framework