Evaluating Efficiency Quality Attribute in Open Source Web browsers

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Inst. för programvaruteknik, DIPT

Abstract: Context: Now a day’s end users are using different types of computer applications like web browsers, data processing tools like MS office, notepad etc., to do their day-to-day works. In the real world scenario, the usage of Open Source Software (OSS) products by both industrial people and end users are gradually increasing. The success of any OSS products depends on its quality standards. ‘Efficiency’ is one of the key quality factor, which portray the standards of product and it is observed that this factor is given little importance during its development. Therefore our research context lies within evaluating the efficiency quality attribute in OSS web browsers. Objectives: As discussed earlier the context of this research lies in evaluating the efficiency of OSS web browsers, the initial objective was to identify the available efficiency measures from the current literature and observe which type of measures are suitable for web browsers. Then our next objective is to compute values for the identified efficiency measures by considering a set of predefined web browsers from all the categories. Later we proposed Efficiency Baseline Criteria (EBC) and based on this criterion and experiment results obtained, the efficiency of OSS web browsers had been evaluated. Therefore the main objective of conducting this research is to formulate EBC guidelines, which can be later used by OSS developers to test their web browsers and ensure that all the quality standards are strictly adhered during the development of OSS products. Methods: Initially Literature Review (LR) was conducted in order to identify all the related efficiency quality attributes and also observe the sub-attribute functionalities, that are useful while measuring efficiency values of web browsers. Methods and procedures which are discussed in this LR are used as input for identifying efficiency measures that are related to web browsers. Later an experiment was performed in order to calculate efficiency values for CSS & proprietary set of web browsers (i.e. Case A) and OSS web browsers (i.e. Case B) by using different tools and procedures. Authors themselves had calculated efficiency values for both Case A and Case B web browsers. Based on the results of Case A web browsers, EBC was proposed and finally an statistical analysis (i.e. Mann Whitney U-test) is performed in order to evaluate the hypothesis which was formulated in experiment section. Results: From the LR study, it is observed that efficiency quality attribute is classified into two main categories (i.e. Time Behavior and Resource Utilization). Further under the category of Time behavior a total of 3 attributes were identified (i.e. Response time, Throughput and Turnaround time). From the results of LR, we had also observed the measuring process of each attribute for different web browsers. Later an experiment was performed on two different sets of web browsers (i.e. Case A and Case B web browsers). Based on the LR results, only 3 efficiency attributes (i.e. response time, memory utilization and throughput) were identified which are more suitable to the case of web browsers. These 3 efficiency attributes are further classified into 10 sub-categories. Efficiency values are calculated to both Case A and B for these 10 identified scenarios. Later from Case A results EBC values are generated. Finally hypothesis testing was done by initially performing K-S test and results suggest choosing non-parametric test (i.e. Mann Whitney U-test). Later Mann Whitney U-test was performed for all the scenarios and the normalized Z scores are more than 1.96, further suggested rejecting null hypothesis for all the 10 scenarios. Also EBC values are compared with Case B results and these also suggest us that efficiency standard of OSS web browsers are not equivalent to Case A web browsers. Conclusions: Based on quantitative results, we conclude that efficiency standards of OSS web browsers are not equivalent, when compared to Case A web browsers and the efficiency standards are not adhered during development process. Hence OSS developers should focus on implementing efficiency standards during the development stages itself in order to increase the quality of the end products. The major contribution from the two researchers to this area of research is “Efficiency Baseline Criteria”. The proposed EBC values are useful for OSS developers to test the efficiency standards of their web browser and also help them to analyze their shortcomings. As a result appropriate preventive measures can be planned in advance.

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