Talk at QUATIC '12


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In this paper we present a quality model for spreadsheets, based on the ISO/IEC 9126 standard that defines a generic quality model for software. To each of the software characteristics defined in the ISO/IEC 9126, we associate an equivalent spreadsheet characteristic. Then, we propose a set of spreadsheet specific metrics to assess the quality of a spreadsheet in each of the defined characteristics. In order to obtain the normal distribution of expected values for a spreadsheet in each of the metrics that we propose, we have executed them against all spreadsheets in the large and widely used EUSES spreadsheet corpus. Then, we quantify each characteristic of our quality model after computing the values of our metrics, and we define quality scores for the different ranges of values. Finally, to automate the atribution of a quality score to a given spreadsheet, according to our quality model, we have integrated the computation of the metrics it includes in both a batch and a web-based tool.

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Talk at QUATIC '12

  1. 1. A Quality Model for SpreadsheetJácome Cunha,João P.Fernandes,Christophe Peixoto, João Saraiva1 HASLab / INESC TEC & Universidade do Minho, Portugal QUATIC 2012
  2. 2. Why do Spreadsheets matter? 95% of all U.S. firms90% of all analysts in industry50% of all SSs are the basis for decisions 2
  3. 3. Still...Economy losses of $10 billion/year! 3
  4. 4. A recent spreadsheet error... 4
  5. 5. A Portuguese horror story... 5
  6. 6. Many more horror stories...• EuSpriG Original Horror Stories ●
  7. 7. SpreadSheets as SW LanguagesIn fact Spreadsheets lack advanced mechanismsfound in modern languages, namely: Type and Modular Systems Abstractions Debuggers/Profilers/Refactors Mechanisms for Model-Driven Engineering and Software Evolution! Best Practice Rules... 7
  8. 8. This paper We propose a quality model forspreadsheets based on the widelyaccepted ISO/IEC 9126 standard forsoftware product quality. We introduce a set of domain specificmetrics for spreadsheets used to measureconcrete spreadsheet characteristics. We calibrate our quality model using alarge repository of real-worldspreadsheets (EUSES corpus) 8
  9. 9. Spreadsheets Quality Model: Definition 9
  10. 10. SpreadSheet Quality Model: Definition We have adapted the ISO/IEC 9126 to Spreadsheets 10
  11. 11. SpreadSheet Quality Model: Definition For example: Understandability: There are many ways to make a spreadsheet more understandable 1- the separation of the input, computation and output components of the spreadsheet. 2- the use of different background colors for different types of data cells. 3- a large number of cells makes a spreadsheet hard to understand. 11
  12. 12. SpreadSheet Quality Model: CalibrationTo calibrate our model we need to consider alarge repository of spreadsheets: The EUSEScorpus (5606 spreadsheets, organized in 6categories) 12
  13. 13. SpreadSheet Quality Model: CalibrationThe Metrics: we reused SIG Spreadsheetsmetrics suite 13
  14. 14. SpreadSheet Quality Model: CalibrationThe idea is to compute the metrics in a largeset of real-word spreadsheet in order todefine metric values that allow us to assigna five star ranking to a spreadsheet.Repository: EUSESMetric: Number of Cells 14
  15. 15. SpreadSheet Quality Model: CalibrationThe graphics that represent the aggregationbased on the central tendency of the resultsof computing the metric “number of cells” 15
  16. 16. SpreadSheet Quality Model: CalibrationFinally, we are able to define the starranking intervals for each of thecharacteristics considered: 16
  17. 17. SpreadSheet Smells: Catalog ValidationWe have implemented both a batch and web-based spreadsheet quality analyzer tools: 17
  18. 18. SpreadSheet Quality Model: EvaluationWe have developed an equivalent android-basedapplication to assess quality of cloud storedspreadsheets (google docs). 18
  19. 19. Conclusions● We presented a quality model for spreadsheets.● We have implemented the quality model as three different tools.● We have calibrated our model using the tools a large repository containing real-world spreadsheets.● But, this is a preliminary result/model. We need to extend our metric suite and, thus, to consider more sub- characteristics of the ISO 9126 std. 19
  20. 20. Research Material● SSaaPP – SpreadSheets as a Programmin Paradigm (FCT funded)● AutoSeer - Automated Test Oracles for Software Error Detection (FCT funded) 20