Arunkumar Khannur's Software Testing Knowledge Center
3.3 A Taxonomy of Bugs

Bug taxonomies help in providing fast and effective feedback so that they can easily identify possible reasons for failure of the software. Using bug taxonomy, a large number of potential bugs can be grouped into few categories. Whenever a new bug is reported, using bug taxonomy, a tester can easily analyse and put that bug into any of these categories. At the end of testing, testers can understand the type of categories of bugs that frequently occurred and thereby in successive rounds of testing he can focus on writing more test cases that would help to detect such bugs. In addition, test leaders can guide their testers to focus on such frequently occurring bugs.

Bugs are difficult to categorize. Though there is no universally correct way to categorize bugs, it is recommended to adapt some taxonomy to categorize bugs. This would help in test strategy. By understanding distribution of bugs in each category, we can pick bug category that has more number of bugs, focus on it , and take corrective and preventive measures to address. While implementing test related processes in the organization, one can chose a taxonomy given by Boris Beizer or by Orthogonal Defect Classification or by IEEE taxonomy specified in IEEE87B.

Orthogonal Defect Classification defines eight categories of defects, viz., function, assignment, interface, checking, timing/serialization, build/pack/merge, and documentation.

Boris Beizer has given an extensive bug taxonomy which classifies bugs based on the possible places in various phases of development cycle. The major categories are- requirements, features and functionalities, structure, data, implementation and coding, integration, system and software architecture, and testing. The summary of the Bug Taxonomy given by Boris Beizer is given below.
  • Requirements, Features, and Functionality Bugs
  • Structural Bugs
  • Data Bugs
  • Coding Bugs
  • Interface, Integration, and System Bugs
  • Test and Test Design Bugs
  • Testing and Design Style
Khannur's Book
Arunkumar Khannur, Software Testing - Techniques and Applications, Published by Pearson Publications, 2011 (ISBN:978-81-317-5836-6; Pages:341 + xxii)
Follow Khannur
Khannur's Company
ISQT Process & Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore, INDIA
Khannur's Software Testing Forum
 Contact Khannur
ISQT Process & Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd.
#732, 1st Floor, 12th Main,
3rd Block, Rajajinagar,
Bangalore - 560010, INDIA
Phone: +91 80 23012511
Skype: arun.isqt