Cause reduction for quick testing

Alex Groce, Mohammed Amin Alipour, Chaoqiang Zhang, Yang Chen, John Regehr

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

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

In random testing, it is often desirable to produce a 'quick test' - an extremely inexpensive test suite that can serve as a frequently applied regression and allow the benefits of random testing to be obtained even in very slow or over-subscribed test environments. Delta debugging is an algorithm that, given a failing test case, produces a smaller test case that also fails, and typically executes much more quickly. Delta debugging of random tests can produce effective regression suites for previously detected faults, but such suites often have little power for detecting new faults, and in some cases provide poor code coverage. This paper proposes extending delta debugging by simplifying tests with respect to code coverage, an instance of a generalization of delta debugging we call cause reduction. We show that test suites reduced in this fashion can provide very effective quick tests for real-world programs. For Mozilla's Spider Monkey JavaScript engine, the reduced suite is more effective for finding software faults, even if its reduced runtime is not considered. The effectiveness of a reduction-based quick test persists through major changes to the software under test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 7th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2014
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages243-252
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780769551852
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2014 - Cleveland, OH, United States
Duration: Mar 31 2014Apr 4 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE 7th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2014

Conference

Conference7th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityCleveland, OH
Period3/31/144/4/14

Keywords

  • random testing
  • regression testing
  • test case minimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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