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Reading by stepwise abstraction

The first ideas regarding reading techniques were proposed by Harlan D. Mills in 1972 [LMW79]. He has developed a reading technique to find defects in code documents called reading by stepwise abstraction. In code reading by stepwise abstraction a person identifies prime subprograms in the software, determines their function and uses them to determine a function for the entire program. Then it is possible to compare this derived function to the actual intended one to find defects.
The effectiveness and efficiency of this technique was validated by Basili & Selby in 1987 [BS87]. They have shown that in a professional environment code reading by stepwise abstraction detects more software faults and has a higher fault detection rate than functional or structural testing.

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