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The Cost of Data Flow Testing: An Empirical Study
February 1990 (vol. 16 no. 2)
pp. 121-128

A family of test data adequacy criteria employing data-flow information was previously proposed, and a theoretical complexity analysis was performed. The author describes an empirical study to determine the actual cost of using these criteria. The aim is to establish the practical usefulness of these criteria in testing software and provide a basis for predicting the amount of testing needed for a given program. The first goal of the study is to confirm the belief that the family of software testing criteria considered is practical to use. An attempt is made to show that even as the program size increases, the amount of testing, expressed in terms of the number of test cases sufficient to satisfy a given criterion, remains modest. Several ways of evaluating this hypothesis are explored. The second goal is to provide the prospective user of these criteria with a way of predicting the number of test cases that will be needed to satisfy a given criterion for a given program. This provides testers with a basis for selecting the most comprehensive criterion that they can expect to satisfy. Several plausible bases for such a prediction are considered.

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Index Terms:
data flow testing; empirical study; test data adequacy criteria; data-flow information; theoretical complexity analysis; cost; software testing criteria; parallel programming; program testing.
Citation:
E.J. Weyuker, "The Cost of Data Flow Testing: An Empirical Study," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 121-128, Feb. 1990, doi:10.1109/32.44376
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