Orthogonal Defect Classification

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Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC) [1] turns semantic information in the software defect stream into a measurement on the process.

The ideas were developed in the late '80s and early '90s at IBM Research by Ram Chillarege.[2] This has led to the development of new analytical methods used for software development and test process analysis. ODC is process model, language and domain-agnostic. Applications of ODC have been reported by several corporations on a variety of platforms and development processes, ranging from waterfall, spiral, gated, and agile [3] [4]development processes. One of popular applications of ODC is software root cause analysis. ODC is know to reduce the time taken to perform root cause analysis by over a factor of 10. The gains come primarily from a different approach to root cause analysis, where the ODC data is generated rapidly (in minutes, as opposed to hours per defect) and analytics used for the cause and effect analysis. This shifts the burden of analysis from a purely human method to one that is more data intensive. [5]


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  1. ^ Orthogonal Defect Classification-A Concept for In-Process Measurements, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, November 1992 (vol. 18 no. 11). http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/32.177364
  2. ^ IEEE Computer Society, 2002 Technical Achievement Award http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards/chillarege
  3. ^ Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC) in Agile Development. M. Jagia, S. Meena, IEEE ISSRE 2009 Supplemental Proceedings, Nov. 2009.
  4. ^ Orthogonal Defect Classification: An Agile Test/QA Primer, Agile Development Conference, Nov. 2012
  5. ^ "ODC - a 10x for Root Cause Analysis", R. Chillarege 2006