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Using Spanning Sets for Coverage Testing
November 2003 (vol. 29 no. 11)
pp. 974-984

Abstract—A test coverage criterion defines a set E_c of entities of the program flowgraph and requires that every entity in this set is covered under some test case. Coverage criteria are also used to measure the adequacy of the executed test cases. In this paper, we introduce the notion of spanning sets of entities for coverage testing. A spanning set is a minimum subset of E_c, such that a test suite covering the entities in this subset is guaranteed to cover every entity in E_c. When the coverage of an entity always guarantees the coverage of another entity, the former is said to subsume the latter. Based on the subsumption relation between entities, we provide a generic algorithm to find spanning sets for control flow and data flow-based test coverage criteria. We suggest several useful applications of spanning sets: They help reduce and estimate the number of test cases needed to satisfy coverage criteria. We also empirically investigate how the use of spanning sets affects the fault detection effectiveness.

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Index Terms:
Control flow, coverage criteria, data flow, ddgraph, spanning sets, subsumption.
Citation:
Martina Marr?, Antonia Bertolino, "Using Spanning Sets for Coverage Testing," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 29, no. 11, pp. 974-984, Nov. 2003, doi:10.1109/TSE.2003.1245299
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