Software Testing, Verification and Reliability

Cover image for Vol. 25 Issue 4

Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)

Edited By: Jeff Offutt and Robert M. Hierons

Impact Factor: 1.348

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 35/104 (Computer Science Software Engineering)

Online ISSN: 1099-1689

Associated Title(s): Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, Software Process: Improvement and Practice, Software: Practice and Experience


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  1. Research Articles

    1. Model-based security testing: a taxonomy and systematic classification

      Michael Felderer, Philipp Zech, Ruth Breu, Matthias Büchler and Alexander Pretschner

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1580

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      This article provides a taxonomy for model-based security testing approaches that comprises filter and evidence criteria. The taxonomy is based on a comprehensive analysis of existing classification schemes for model-based and security testing. To demonstrate its adequacy, 119 publications on model-based security testing are systematically extracted from relevant digital libraries and classified according to the defined filter and evidence criteria. On the basis of the classified publications, the article provides an overview of the state of the art in model-based security testing and discusses promising research directions.

    2. A lightweight framework for dynamic GUI data verification based on scripts

      Pedro Luis Mateo Navarro, Diego Sevilla Ruiz and Gregorio Martínez Pérez

      Article first published online: 6 MAY 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1579

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      Script-basedDAtaVERificationframework(S-DAVER)providesalightweight,easy-to-integrate, dynamic,andautomaticverificationframeworkforGraphicalUserInterfacedata.Allverification processesareencapsulatedinanindependentverificationlayer.Theseprocessesaretransparentto developers.Theverificationrulesarespecifiedinseparatefilesandwrittenusinggeneralpurpose, interpretedlanguages.Rulescanbechanged/reloadedatruntimewithoutrecompilation.Superimposed visualfeedbackisusedtoassistdevelopersduringthetestingstage,aswellastoimproveusers'experience duringexecution.

    3. Automatic fault localization for client-side JavaScript

      Frolin S. Ocariza Jr., Guanpeng Li, Karthik Pattabiraman and Ali Mesbah

      Article first published online: 14 APR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1576

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      This work proposes an approach for automatically localizing Document-Object-Model-related (i.e. DOM-related) JavaScript faults in AJAX-based web applications. The technique has been implemented in a tool called AutoFLox, and it is capable of localizing faults in a wide array of web applications, including minified applications, as well as those using anonymous functions and eval. An evaluation of the proposed approach shows that it is accurate, with a recall of 96% and no false positives, and can localize real bugs from real-world web applications.

  2. Special Issue Papers

    1. Cause reduction: delta debugging, even without bugs

      Alex Groce, Mohammad Amin Alipour, Chaoqiang Zhang, Yang Chen and John Regehr

      Article first published online: 31 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1574

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      This paper presents a generalization of delta debugging (cause reduction) in which test cases are reduced based on an arbitrary property, rather than only with respect to ability to trigger a fault. The graph shows that basing test suites on tests cases that have been reduced with respect to statement coverage can result in much better code coverage for very small regression tests than using unreduced test cases. Cause reduction can also benefit symbolic execution and stress testing.

  3. Research Articles

    1. You have full text access to this OnlineOpen article
      Assessing and generating test sets in terms of behavioural adequacy

      Gordon Fraser and Neil Walkinshaw

      Article first published online: 20 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1575

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      Identifying a test set that adequately captures the essential behaviour of a program is a well-established problem. Behavioural coverage captures the idea that if it is possible to infer an accurate model of a system from its test executions, then the test set is adequate. Our approach enables the use of machine learning algorithms to augment standard syntactic testing approaches and shows how search-based testing techniques can be applied to generate test sets with respect to this criterion.

    2. Anomaly detection in performance regression testing by transaction profile estimation

      Shadi Ghaith, Miao Wang, Philip Perry, Zhen Ming Jiang, Pat O'Sullivan and John Murphy

      Article first published online: 9 MAR 2015 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1573

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      We showed how the transaction profile (TP) can be used, via the TP run report, by regression testing teams as an automated way to discover performance regression anomalies. Furthermore, the TP is immune to changes in the load applied to the system, which will save time to repeat runs with the previous release load. Moreover, we proposed a novel way to infer the TP from already available performance data, mainly the resources utilizations and the transaction response times, and the queueing network model of the testing system.

  4. Special Issue Papers

    1. Higher accuracy and lower run time: efficient mutation analysis using non-redundant mutation operators

      René Just and Franz Schweiggert

      Article first published online: 11 DEC 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1561

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      This paper studies redundancies in commonly used mutation operators and provides non-redundant versions of the conditional operator replacement, unary operator insertion, and relational operator replacement mutation operators. The empirical study in this paper shows how the inclusion redundant mutants affect the efficiency and accuracy of mutation analysis. In summary, the total mutation analysis run time decreased by more than 20% by removing redundant mutants, and the inclusion of redundant mutants led to an overestimated mutation score for all analyzed test suites.

    2. MuRanker: a mutant ranking tool

      Akbar Siami Namin, Xiaozhen Xue, Omar Rosas and Pankaj Sharma

      Article first published online: 11 AUG 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1542

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      MuRanker introduces and further implements the idea of ranking mutants. The tool ranks mutants according to their complexity in being detected by a test pool. The tool captures the distance between a mutant and the original program in deciding about ranking mutants. The empirical evaluation demonstrates the validity of the hypothesis stating that detecting medium and hard-to-kill mutants first will automatically detect easy-to-kill mutants, and thus, it reduces the number of test cases needed to achieve the mutation adequacy criterion.

    3. Reducing mutation costs through uncovered mutants

      Pedro Reales Mateo and Macario Polo Usaola

      Article first published online: 15 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1534

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      Mutant Schema Improved with extra Code (MUSIC) annotates the statements covered by test cases in the original program. Later, when mutants are executed, the execution engine avoids going through uncoverable mutants. Our empirical results prove that music is an efficient cost reduction technique. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    4. Quality metrics for mutation testing with applications to WS-BPEL compositions

      Antonia Estero-Botaro, Francisco Palomo-Lozano, Inmaculada Medina-Bulo, Juan José Domínguez-Jiménez and Antonio García-Domínguez

      Article first published online: 9 MAY 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1528

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      Mutation testing is a successful testing technique. However, it can be very costly. Cost reduction can be aided by an analysis of mutation operators, but this requires the definition of specialized metrics. A better quality metric for mutants would be a first step towards improved cost reduction techniques. This work introduces such a metric and a firm mutation tool for WS-BPEL compositions. Experimental results obtained by comparing different metrics on several compositions are presented. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    5. Model-based mutation testing from security protocols in HLPSL

      Frédéric Dadeau, Pierre-Cyrille Héam, Rafik Kheddam, Ghazi Maatoug and Michael Rusinowitch

      Article first published online: 29 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1531

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      This article proposes a model-based mutation testing approach for security protocols written in HLPSL. Mutation operators for protocol models, expressing real-world implementation choices or mistakes, are presented and evaluated on a large bench of real-world protocols. Finally, it describes a framework that helps automating the execution of the generated test cases. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    6. Using mutation to assess fault detection capability of model review

      Paolo Arcaini, Angelo Gargantini and Elvinia Riccobene

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1530

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      Model review is a static analysis approach that aims at determining if a model owns certain quality attributes. This paper presents a methodology for evaluating the fault detection capability of the NuSMV model advisor. The approach is based on the use of mutation analysis; to improve the quality of the analysis, the equivalence between a NuSMV model and any of its mutants is checked. Some experiments assess the fault detecting capability, precision, and accuracy of the NuSMV model advisor. Copyright©2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Special Issue Paper

    1. Towards an automation of the mutation analysis dedicated to model transformation

      Vincent Aranega, Jean-Marie Mottu, Anne Etien, Thomas Degueule, Benoit Baudry and Jean-Luc Dekeyser

      Article first published online: 25 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1532

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      Mutation analysis for model transformations is perceived as cumbersome because of the test set improvement manual step that requires a strong expertise and analysis from the tester. This paper presents a solution to go towards a full automation of the mutation analysis for model transformations. This solution uses model transformation traceability and mutation operator modelization embedded into an assistant that helps the tester to easily create new test models to improve the test set. Copyright©2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. Special Issue Papers

    1. Employing second-order mutation for isolating first-order equivalent mutants

      Marinos Kintis, Mike Papadakis and Nicos Malevris

      Article first published online: 21 APR 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1529

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      This paper presents a new technique to tackle the equivalent mutant problem. The salient feature of this approach is the employment of higher-order mutation in the classification process. More precisely, the classification scheme utilises code coverage information and second-order mutation to classify a given set of first-order mutants as possibly killable or possibly equivalent ones. The results suggest that the proposed method outperforms its predecessors with respect to the recall metric, without significant loss of classification precision. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    2. Killing strategies for model-based mutation testing

      Bernhard K. Aichernig, Harald Brandl, Elisabeth Jöbstl, Willibald Krenn, Rupert Schlick and Stefan Tiran

      Article first published online: 3 FEB 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1522

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      This paper presents a model-based test case generation approach that automatically derives test cases from UML state machines. The technique is based on the mutation analysis of test models. In the two case studies, different fault-based test case generation strategies are compared. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

    3. Metallaxis-FL: mutation-based fault localization

      Mike Papadakis and Yves Le Traon

      Article first published online: 9 SEP 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/stvr.1509

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      This paper proposes Metallaxis, a fault localization approach based on mutation analysis. The innovative part of Metallaxis is that is it uses mutants and links them with the faulty program places. Thus, mutants that are killed mostly by failing tests provide a good indication about the location of a fault. Experimentation using Metallaxis suggests that it is significantly more effective than statement-based approaches. This is true even in the case that mutation cost-reduction techniques, such as mutant sampling, are facilitated.


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