On the danger of coverage directed test case generation

Matt Staats, Gregory Gay, Michael W Whalen, Mats Heimdahl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the avionics domain, the use of structural coverage criteria is legally required in determining test suite adequacy. With the success of automated test generation tools, it is tempting to use these criteria as the basis for test generation. To more firmly establish the effectiveness of such approaches, we have generated and evaluated test suites to satisfy two coverage criteria using counterexample-based test generation and a random generation approach, contrasted against purely random test suites of equal size. Our results yield two key conclusions. First, coverage criteria satisfaction alone is a poor indication of test suite effectiveness. Second, the use of structural coverage as a supplement-not a target-for test generation can have a positive impact. These observations points to the dangers inherent in the increase in test automation in critical systems and the need for more research in how coverage criteria, generation approach, and system structure jointly influence test effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFundamental Approaches to Software Engineering - 15th International Conference, FASE 2012, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2012, Proceedings
Pages409-424
Number of pages16
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012
Event15th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering, FASE 2012, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2012 - Tallinn, Estonia
Duration: Mar 24 2012Apr 1 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume7212 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Other

Other15th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering, FASE 2012, Held as Part of the European Joint Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software, ETAPS 2012
CountryEstonia
CityTallinn
Period3/24/124/1/12

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