NASA Spinoff

A Predictive Approach to Eliminating Errors in Software Code

NASA's Metrics Data Program Data Repository is a database that stores problem, product, and metrics data. The primary goal of this data repository is to provide project data to the software community. In doing so, the Metrics Data Program collects artifacts from a large NASA dataset, generates metrics on the artifacts, and then generates reports that are made available to the public at no cost. The data that are made available to general users have been sanitized and authorized for publication through the Metrics Data Program Web site by officials representing the projects from which the data originated.

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The Predictive product suite analyzes and predicts defects in software projects, allowing the user to identify the best metrics and thresholds to apply across one or more projects.
The data repository is operated by NASA's Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Facility, which is located in Fairmont, West Virginia—a high-tech hub for emerging innovation in the Mountain State. The IV&V Facility was founded in 1993, under the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, as a direct result of recommendations made by the National Research Council and the Report of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Today, under the direction of Goddard Space Flight Center, the IV&V Facility continues its mission to provide the highest achievable levels of safety and cost-effectiveness for mission-critical software.

By extending its data to public users, the facility has helped improve the safety, reliability, and quality of complex software systems throughout private industry and other government agencies. Integrated Software Metrics, Inc., is one of the organizations that has benefited from studying the metrics data. As a result, the company has evolved into a leading developer of innovative software-error prediction tools that help organizations deliver better software—on time and on budget.

Partnership

Since 2002, Integrated Software Metrics has not only studied NASA’s metrics data, but has contributed to the maturation of the Agency’s Metrics Data Program, through a contract with Galaxy Global Corporation, Inc.; both Integrated Software Metrics and Galaxy Global reside nearby the IV&V Facility in Fairmont. This contract enabled Integrated Software Metrics to work together with Glenn Research Center to generate metrics for the Metrics Data Program’s data repository. NASA is now leveraging what was learned from this collaboration to better identify error-prone computer code and, hence, assure mission success.

Commercially, Integrated Software Metrics has tapped into everything it has learned from its partnership with NASA to create a new, artificially intelligent product suite called Predictive. Prior to introducing the software to market, the company tested it on very large NASA software projects consisting of over a million lines of computer code, in order to ensure its efficacy.

Product Outcome

The Integrated Software Metrics Predictive suite of software products predicts where errors will occur in software code. Such a capability enables users to uncover any errors in the early stages of software development, thus saving time and money.