Defect Estimation using Capture-Recapture in IBM Jazz

Kevin Gary and John Doran


defect estimation, capture-recapture method, software tools, software engineering education, inspections, quality


A single defect can have a crippling effect in today’s complex software systems. Defects may result in the loss of millions of dollars or in some cases even death. However it is not possible to prevent or find all defects when applications may have millions of lines of code. Project managers and software engineers are employing statistical approaches such as the Capture-Recapture method to estimate the total number of defects in a software project. The application of Capture-Recapture to defect estimation is fairly new. Currently there are not any solutions that provide a seamless structured way to collect defect data and automatically produce defect estimates using Capture-Recapture. The Defect Estimation Component is a solution that provides a process for performing code reviews and automatically applies the Capture- Recapture Method to the defect data collected. It was built on IBM’s Jazz platform as a collaborative development tool that combines the aspects of project management and software development into an integrated work environment. The goal of the Defect Estimation Component is to make it easier for developers to apply defect estimation to real world software projects. This paper presents the Defect Estimation Component and the results of a validation exercise conducted in the context of a software engineering capstone experience.

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