ODC Properties

Ram Chillarege, 2010
Orthogonal Defect Classification (ODC) has some unique properties when it comes to software engineering measurement. While there have been several categorization schemes and taxonomies which provide a description of the defect, ODC goes beyond just description. ODC extracts semantics from defects into specific classes so that the collective set of classes create a measurement system. It is these properties that makes ODC powerful and portable.

These properties are implemented by the choice of categorization - the schema, the definitions and the way classification is performed. They are semantic classes and therefore need to be done with care. The design of the categorization scheme has taken research, fine tuned over time, and tested across a large body of data in industry.


  • Full life-cycle
  • Artifact based
  • Process agnostic
  • Language and tool agnostic
  • Injection rate compensation
  • Environment profile-able
  • Distribution changes based measurement
  • Actionable data
  • Fast capture - two to five minutes
  • Robust
  • Extensible

With these ODC properties, come a set of capabilities. Note, that a classification that is merely a taxonomy will be limited in that it cannot provide such capabilities directly.

Some examples of capabilities

  • In process feedback
  • Product profiling
  • Prediction
  • Establish entry and exit criteria
  • Rapid root cause analysis
  • Software FMEA
  • Digital Six Sigma
  • Measurement of Test Effectiveness
  • Cause-Effect Analysis