CMSC 435 - Assignment 3A

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 a design document developed by another group in your class.

In this part of the assignment, you are asked to find as many faults in the given design (for the Loan-Arranger) as you can. Faults will be found in all portions of the document that you have been given. We have only given you the portions of the design necessary for the specific techniques that you will be using. We estimate that this part of the assignment should take 2 to 4 hours.

A design fault 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 has been omitted from the design document, or a requirement from the requirements document was not addressed in the design. (e.g. a necessary class, attribute, or method does not appear in the design.)

Ambiguous Information

Information within the design document is ambiguous, i.e. any of a number of interpretations may be derived that should not be the prerogative of the developer doing the implementation.


Information within one part of the design is inconsistent with other information in the design. For example, information in the sequence diagram does not correspond to information presented in the high-level design.

Incorrect fact

Some information in the design contradicts information in the requirements document or general domain knowledge.


Information is provided that is not needed or used. (e.g. attributes which will not be used are given for a class.)


Other defects (e.g. mistakes in notation)

There are seven reading techniques that your team will be using for this assignment. One member of the team will use techniques 1 and 2, a second member will use techniques 3 and 4, and a third member will use techniques 5, 6, and 7. Each team has been given three packets, one for each group of reading techniques. You may choose which member of your team will be assigned to each group of reading techniques, however you must e-mail Baris a list of your team members and the group of techniques to which they have been assigned no later than noon on Friday Oct. 30. If there are only two members in your team, one member will receive the packets for techniques 1 through 4 and the other member will receive the packets for techniques 5 through 7. However, the team member doing techniques 1 through 4 need only submit one fault list.

Your fault list must be emailed to Baris ( by Monday Nov. 2 at 11:59pm. Baris will send an ASCII version of form 3.1 to you via e-mail. Form 3.1 is the form on which you will submit your fault lists. Your supporting documents (e.g. marked up documents) will be handed in in class on Nov 3. A printed copy of form 3.1 is included with these directions to show you what kind of information must be submitted. Keep track of how long you spend examining the design 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 you report.

Be sure to keep a copy of the completed form 3.1 file for yourself! You will need to reuse some of this information on future phases of this assignment.

NOTE 1: The class period on November 3 will be dedicated to the next group assignment (3.2), so please be on-time.

NOTE 2: 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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