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Perturbation Techniques for Detecting Domain Errors
June 1989 (vol. 15 no. 6)
pp. 737-746

Perturbation testing is an approach to software testing which focuses on faults withinarithmetic expressions appearing throughout a program. This approach is expanded to permit analysis of individual test points rather than entire paths, and to concentrate on domain errors. Faults are modeled as perturbing functions drawn from a vector space of potential faults and added to the correct form of an arithmetic expression. Sensitivity measures are derived which limit the possible size of those faults that would go undetected after the execution of a given test set. These measures open up an interesting view of testing, in which attempts are made to reduce the volume of possible faults which, were they present in the program being tested, would have escaped detection on all tests performed so far. The combination of these measures with standard optimization techniques yields a novel test-data-generation method called arithmetic fault detection.

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Index Terms:
error detection; sensitivity measures; software testing; arithmetic expressions; individual test points; domain errors; perturbing functions; vector space; potential faults; test set; standard optimization techniques; novel test-data-generation method; arithmetic fault detection; error detection; perturbation techniques; program testing
Citation:
S.J. Zeil, "Perturbation Techniques for Detecting Domain Errors," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 737-746, June 1989, doi:10.1109/32.24727
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