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Test Frameworks for Elusive Bug Testing



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TEST FRAMEWORKS FOR ELUSIVE BUG TESTING W E Howden CSE University of California at San Diego La Jolla CA 92093 USA howden cse ucsd edu Cliff Rhyne Intuit Software Corporation 6220 Greenwich D San Diego CA 92122 USA cliff rhyne intuit com Keywords Testing elusive bugs frameworks bounded exhaustive JUnit Abstract Elusive bugs can be particularly expensive because they often survive testing and are released in a deployed system They are characterized as involving a combination of properties One approach to their detection is bounded exhaustive testing BET This paper describes how to implement BET using a variation of JUnit called BETUnit The idea of a BET pattern is also introduced BET patterns describe how to solve certain problems in the application of BETUnit Classes of patterns include BET test generation and BET oracle design Examples are given of each 1 INTRODUCTION 1 1 Background A variety of defect detection testing guidelines have been proposed Some are based on empirical evidence that certain kinds of test cases such as socalled corner cases or boundary cases are more prone to be associated with defects Others require that all parts of the code have been tested as in branch or statement testing We are interested in a certain kinds of defects that are not amenable to discovery using standard testing methods which we have called elusive bugs This kind of bug often has the following characteristics i it occurs late in the testing cycle or after release ii it occurs when a certain combination of conditions takes place and iii it is not reliably found by standard testing methods Approaches to the discovery of these kinds of defects include the use of area specific defect lists e g Jha Kaner 2003 and test selection patterns e g Howden W E 2005 Lists and patterns do not work well for the following reasons they quickly become too long they are difficult to organize into useful classes and they are based on hindsight the next defect may require yet another addition to



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