Computer Science Technical Reports
CS at VT

An Evaluation of Change-Based Coverage Criteria

Fisher II, Marc and Wloka, Jan and Tip, Frank and Ryder, Barbara G. and Luchansky, Alexander (2011) An Evaluation of Change-Based Coverage Criteria. Technical Report TR-11-03, Computer Science, Virginia Tech.

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Various coverage criteria are commonly used to assess the quality of test suites, but achieving full coverage according to these criteria is often impossible or impractical. Our research starts from the popular assumption that a disproportionate number of faults is likely to reside in recently changed code. Based on this assumption, we propose several change-based coverage criteria that reflect to what extent changes with respect to a previous program version are exercised by a test suite. In a set of experiments on programs from the SIR repository, we found change-based criteria to reveal faults better than traditional criteria, and to enable the construction of much smaller test suites with similar fault detection effectiveness. We also report on a case study that shows that achieving (near) 100% coverage according to a change-based criterion is both feasible and useful.

Item Type:Departmental Technical Report
Subjects:Computer Science > Software Engineering
ID Code:1143
Deposited By:Administrator, Eprints
Deposited On:28 March 2011