CMSC 435

Assignment 1A

In order to give you experience with the nature of defects in software products, this assignment is an exercise in defect detection. Specifically, you will be asked to identify faults in requirements documents for various systems. The assignment is divided into several sections in order to give you some experience with a number of different defect detection techniques.

In this part of the assignment, you are asked to find as many faults in the given requirements (for the Loan-Arranger) as you can. The "Background" and "Purpose" sections of the requirements can be assumed to be correct. Faults in the document will be found in all other portions of the document. These portions contain the detailed requirements from which the system will be designed and implemented. We estimate that this part of the assignment should take 2 to 4 hours.

A fault in a requirements document is an omission, inaccuracy, inconsistency, ambiguity or anything that would lead to an unsatisfactory solution of the problem to be solved. It can fall into any of the following classes:


Necessary information about the system for me to do my job has been omitted from the requirements document, e.g. the interface to an external entity is not specified.

Ambiguous Information

Information within the requirements document is ambiguous, i.e. any of a number of interpretations may be derived that should not be the prerogative of the designer.


Information within the requirements is inconsistent with other information in the detailed requirements.

Incorrect fact

Some sentence contained in the requirements document asserts a fact that cannot be true under the condition specified in the background/purpose or general domain knowledge.


Information is provided that is not needed or used.


Other defects


Your fault list must be emailed to Baris ( by Sept. 28

at 11:59pm. Baris will send an ASCII version of form 1.1 to you via e-mail. Form 1.1 is the form on which you will submit your fault lists. There are different versions of form 1.1 depending on which reading technique you will be using. You will be sent the appropriate one for your technique. If you are in following the use case technique, your supporting documents will be handed in in class on Sep 28, or to Barisís mailbox in AVW on Sep 29. A printed copy of form 1.1 is included with these directions to show you what kind of information must be submitted. Keep track of how long you spend examining the document for faults; you will need this information to answer some of the questions at the bottom of the report form (these questions are for statistical purposes only and will not be used in determining your grade).

Your grade will be based on how well you conformed to the process that you were given, NOT on the faults that you report.

Be sure to keep a copy of the completed form 1.1 file for yourself! You will need to reuse some of this information on future phases of this assignment.

NOTE: This assignment is part of a study. As always, working with another student will be considered cheating, but for the purposes of the study it is especially crucial that you do not discuss your work with other students in the class. The motivation and design of the study will be discussed in class later this semester.



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