Assessing climate model software quality: a defect density analysis of three models Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Canada
Received: 01 January 2012 – Published in Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss.: 15 February 2012 Abstract. A climate model is an executable theory of the climate; the model encapsulates
climatological theories in software so that they can be simulated and their
implications investigated. Thus, in order to trust a climate model, one must
trust that the software it is built from is built correctly. Our study explores
the nature of software quality in the context of climate modelling. We
performed an analysis of defect reports and defect fixes in several versions of
leading global climate models by collecting defect data from bug tracking
systems and version control repository comments. We found that the climate
models all have very low defect densities compared to well-known, similarly
sized open-source projects. We discuss the implications of our findings for
the assessment of climate model software trustworthiness.
Revised: 11 June 2012 – Accepted: 27 June 2012 – Published: 09 August 2012
Citation: Pipitone, J. and Easterbrook, S.: Assessing climate model software quality: a defect density analysis of three models, Geosci. Model Dev., 5, 1009-1022, doi:10.5194/gmd-5-1009-2012, 2012.