Comparing Transition Trees Test Suites Effectiveness for Different Mutation Operators

Abstract

Research demonstrated that faults seeded mutation using operators can be representative of faults in real systems. In this paper, we study the relationship between the different operators used to insert mutants in the fault domain of the system under test and the effectiveness of different state machine test suites at killing those mutants. We are particularly interested in the effectiveness of two interrelated state machine testing strategies at finding different types of faults. Those are the round-trip paths strategy and the transition tree strategy. Using empirical evaluation, we compare the effectiveness of more than two thousand unique test suites at killing mutants seeded using eight different mutation operators. We perform experiments on four experimental objects and provide qualitative analysis of the results. We conclude that neither of the two studied strategies is more effective than the other at killing a certain type of mutants. However, the structure of the finite state machine and the nature of the system under test affect the type of faults detected by the different testing strategies.

Publication
Proceedings of the 11th ACM SIGSOFT International Workshop on Automating TEST Case Design, Selection, and Evaluation