Test set size minimization and fault detection effectiveness: A case study in a space application

W. Eric Wong, Joseph R. Horgan, Aditya P. Mathur, Alberto Pasquini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

54 Citations (Scopus)


An important question in software testing is whether it is reasonable to apply coverage-based criteria as a filter to reduce the size of a test set. An empirical study was conducted using a test set minimization technique to explore the effect of reducing the size of a test set, while keeping block coverage constant, on the fault detection strength of the resulting minimized test set. Two types of test sets were examined. For those with respect to a fixed size, no test case screening was conducted during the generation, whereas for those with respect to a fixed coverage, each subsequent test case had to improve the overall coverage in order to be included. The study reveals that regardless of how a test set is generated, with or without any test case screening, block minimized test sets have a size/effectiveness advantage, in terms of a significant reduction in test set size and with almost the same fault detection effectiveness, over the original non-minimized test sets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79 - 89
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1999


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture

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