In the context of DO-178C, what is the difference between review and analysis of the outputs of the software development processes?

Are they both the same?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ What part of this question required clarification for closure? DO 178 is clearly software requirement for airborne systems. For those who understand the question, it's perfectly clear. For those who don't, you have no business in closing this. $\endgroup$ – JZYL Feb 11 '20 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ @JZYL agreed, users here seem pretty quick to close software certification questions as off topic pretty darn quick around here, and I don't get it. $\endgroup$ – selectstriker2 Feb 12 '20 at 18:36

No they are not the same.

Reviews are qualitative. They typically compare the artifact being reviewed to a standard using a checklist.

Analyses are quantitative. They could be functional analysis, data flow analysis, timing analysis, or other evaluation of the software artifact.

From DO-178C:

6.3 Software Reviews and Analyses

Reviews and analyses are applied to the outputs of the software development processes. One distinction between reviews and analyses is that analyses provide repeatable evidence of correctness and reviews provide a qualitative assessment of correctness. A review may consist of an inspection of an output of a process guided by a checklist or similar aid. An analysis may examine in detail the functionality, performance, traceability, and safety implications of a software component, and its relationship to other components within the system or equipment.


@Gerry has provided a great answer. Let me complete it with a practical example, since conceptual reasonings regarding DO-178 might get most of the times mind-stressful.

Let's assume that we are developing an onboard Flight Control System SW which will be verified later.

On the one hand, SW will have to meet certain performance requirements (e.g. maintain level flight during in-air operations). However, due to the SW complexity, we cannot test by direct means (i.e. direct input and output) if this performance is met. But, we can carry out more tedious tests and analysis, such as simulations, in order to verify it.

On the other hand, during the SW development, we have created several design diagrams (e.g. modules, class decompositions, functions, etc.). The verification of these designs could be done by a simple review between the design documentation and the actual SW architecture.


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