Applying Mutation Analysis on Kernel Test Suites: An Experience Report

Iftekhar Ahmed, Carlos Jensen, Alex Groce, Paul E. McKenney

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

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mutation analysis is an established technique for measuring the completeness and quality of a test suite. Despite four decades of research on this technique, its use in large systems is still rare, in part due to computational requirements and high numbers of false positives. We present our experiences using mutation analysis on the Linux kernel's RCU (Read Copy Update) module, where we adapt existing techniques to constrain the complexity and computation requirements. We show that mutation analysis can be a useful tool, uncovering gaps in even well-tested modules like RCU. This experiment has so far led to the identification of 3 gaps in the RCU test harness, and 2 bugs in the RCU module masked by those gaps. We argue that mutation testing can and should be more extensively used in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages110-115
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509066766
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 13 2017
Event10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2017 - Tokyo, Japan
Duration: Mar 13 2017Mar 17 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - 10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2017

Conference

Conference10th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops, ICSTW 2017
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityTokyo
Period3/13/173/17/17

Keywords

  • Linux kernel
  • Mutation Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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