A Variability Perspective of Mutation Analysis

Abstract

Mutation testing is an effective technique for either improving or generating fault-finding test suites. It creates defective or incorrect program artifacts of the program under test and evaluates the ability of test suites to reveal them. Despite being effective, mutation is costly since it requires assessing the test cases with a large number of defective artifacts. Even worse, some of these artifacts are behaviourally equivalent to the original one and hence, they unnecessarily increase the testing effort. We adopt a variability perspective on mutation analysis. We model a defective artifact as a transition system with a specific feature selected and consider it as a member of a mutant family. The mutant family is encoded as a Featured Transition System, a compact formalism initially dedicated to model-checking of software product lines. We show how to evaluate a test suite against the set of all candidate defects by using mutant families. We can evaluate all the considered defects at the same time and isolate some equivalent mutants. We can also assist the test generation process and eciently consider higher-order mutants.

Publication
Proceedings of the 22Nd ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE ‘14, Visions and Challenges track)
Xavier Devroey
Xavier Devroey
Postdoctoral Researcher

My research interests include search-based and model-based software testing, test suite augmentation, DevOps, and variability-intensive systems engineering.

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