Chapter 1. Introduction


Despite more than 30 years of effort to improve quality, software is still released with many errors. Many major products are known to have thousands of bugs. It is not for lack of trying; all major software developers have a software quality assurance effort and attempt to remove bugs before release. The problem is the complexity of the code. It is very easy to review code but fail to notice significant errors.

Researchers have responded to these problems by studying methods of formal correctness verification for programs. In theory, we now know how to prove programs correct with the same degree of rigour that we apply to mathematical theorems. In fact, this is rarely practical and rarely done. Most research papers on verification make simplifying assumptions (e.g. a 1:1 correspondence between variables and variable names) that are not valid for real programs. Proofs of realistic programs involve long and complex expressions and require patience, time, and diligence that is simply not available. This workshop will study methods that are more effective than informal reviews and less effort than formal proof. Software developers need a systematic inspection process that can be applied for critical software.

WISE'01 brought together researchers, practitioners, and regulators together in the hope of finding new, more effective approaches to software inspection. The workshop will include invited lectures and paper presentations in the form of panel discussions on all aspects of software inspection.


The full proceedings of the workshop are available as a paperback book published by the Software Quality Research Lab at McMaster University. They are also available to download in both postscript and PDF formats via the online proceedings at: The papers presented at the workshop describe recent work, work-in-progress, proposals for improvements to existing methods and new methods of software inspection. We also encouraged "wild ideas", as well as experience reports detailing industrial applications of software inspection.

Topics of interest at WISE'01 included the following:

  • Tools to assist in inspection techniques.

  • Inspection oriented software design and documentation.

  • Integration of inspection with other elements of the software engineering process (e.g., specification, verification, coding, testing, etc.).

  • Making inspection practical for large scale systems.

  • Regulatory approval of software systems.

  • Case studies and experience reports describing industrial applications of inspection methods.

In order to facilitate discussion, participants are encourage to read the papers prior to the workshop.

Authors of selected papers will be invited to submit a revised full length article for review for inclusion in a special issue or section of IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, which will be coordinated with a special section of IEEE Software.

Once a paper is accepted for the special issues, authors will also be asked to prepare an introductory, magazine style, article based upon their work that will be included in a companion issue. The IEEE Software articles will be introductory in nature and designed to interest readers of IEEE Software Magazine to read the more complete and scholarly, IEEE TSE article.

Workshop Format

The workshop has been organized in an innovative fashion to maximize participation. In addition to two excellent invited talks, the main papers of the proceedings will be presented in the form of panel sessions on three themes:

  1. Tool Support and Inspections,

  2. Theory into Practice, and

  3. Improving Inspections.

Each of the panel sessions will consist of brief, 5 minute talks where the panel authors present the most important and controversial aspects of their work in 5 main points. Following presentations by all of the panel authors, the session will be opened up to questions and comments from the floor in order to generate discussion and provide constructive criticism of the presentations.

To facilitate discussion, the complete text of the presented Panel session papers is available in the online proceedings at:

The following is a tentative schedule and may be subject to change.

8:00-9:00 Workshop Registration
9:00-9:15 Opening remarks
9:15-10:15 Invited Talk: Measurable Software Quality Improvement through Innovative Software Inspection Technologies by Brigitte Klein (Allianz)
10:15-10:30 Coffee Break
10:30-11:30 Tools Support and Inspection Session
11:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Invited Talk: Inspection of Safety Critical Software: Expectations of the Regulator by Kurt Asmis (Formerly with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission)
14:30-15:30 Theory into Practice Session
15:30-15:45 Coffee Break
15:45-16:45 Improving Inspections Session
16:45-17:00 Closing Remarks

Program Committee

Mark Lawford - co-Chair(McMaster University, Canada)
Dave Parnas - co-Chair(McMaster University, Canada)
Kurt Asmis (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Canada)
Pierre-Jacques Courtois(AVN and Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Nader Kameli (Guidant Corporation, USA)
Dieter Rombach(Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering, Germany)
Mike Viola (Ontario Power Generation, Canada)


The organizers would like to acknowledge the sponsorship of the Software Quality Research Lab at McMaster University and the University of Kaiserslautern.

Also, the program committee would like to thank all of the people how agreed to review submissions