An international survey of software engineering practices sponsored by Industry
Canada found that Canadas software, as measured by defects per KLOC [thousand of
lines of code], has the highest defect rate observed. Not surprisingly, the study
also noted that “Canada's
work profile shows the highest share of resources being focused on defect correction.
This means, according to this survey, that the Canadian software industry produces
software that is rated at a relatively low end of the spectrum in terms of quality,
and the industry spends considerable effort fixing defects.
To achieve global success, especially in the e-commerce era with rapidly
changing Internet infrastructure and applications, as well as fast turnaround
times and short release intervals, Canadian firms will have to meet or exceed
quality standards of leading software publishers. In particular, the rising
expectations of software consumers will demand higher quality standards.
The gap between where the Canadian software industry is now and where it has
to be seems to be quite large, and certainly larger than for other competitor nations.
Although the above picture is from a Canadian perspective, most leading nations face
a similar dilemma, that to internationally succeed they need a strong information
technology sector, but currently this sector faces enormous problems to delivering
quality products within time and on budget. Currently software testing consumes up
to 50% of the total cost of software development for the average project. The
introduction of a system to automatically generate software test-data will slash
these costs in a single stroke. Since, the software industry is a multi-billion
industry within most developed nations, the potential benefits from research into
solutions to these growing problems are massive.
Hence, research in this area will attempt to tackle these issues.
Specifically, the project will attempt to reduce the cost of testing a product,
while reducing the number of defects found within the final released product.
The project aims to achieve this by tackling a number of
high value issues within this domain.