An empirical study of the effects of test-suite reduction on fault localization


Fault-localization techniques that utilize information about all test cases in a test suite have been presented. These techniques use various approaches to identify the likely faulty part(s) of a program, based on information about the execution of the program with the test suite. Researchers have begun to investigate the impact that the composition of the test suite has on the effectiveness of these fault-localization techniques. In this paper, we present the first experiment on one aspect of test-suite composition–test-suite reduction. Our experiment studies the impact of the test-suite reduction on the effectiveness of fault-localization techniques. In our experiment, we apply 10 test-suite reduction strategies to test suites for eight subject programs. We then measure the differences between the effectiveness of four existing fault-localization techniques on the unreduced and reduced test suites. We also measure the reduction in test-suite size of the 10 test-suite reduction strategies. Our experiment shows that fault-localization effectiveness varies depending on the test-suite reduction strategy used, and it demonstrates the trade-offs between test-suite reduction and fault-localization effectiveness.

2008 ACM/IEEE 30th International Conference on Software Engineering