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On redundant mutants and strong mutation
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Distribuerade realtidssystem (DRTS), Distributed Real-Time Systems)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1039-5830
University of Skövde, School of Informatics. University of Skövde, The Informatics Research Centre. (Distribuerade realtidssystem (DRTS), Distributed Real-Time Systems)
2015 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study evaluates a theory of subsumption relations among mutants created by the ROR mutation operator, thus making most of these mutants redundant. A redundant mutant can be skipped during mutation analysis without decreasing the quality of the resulting test suite. This theory is interesting since mutation testing is computationally expensive and the theory states that the set of ROR mutants can be reduced by 57%. The reduced set of ROR mutants has therefore, been used in several recent studies. However, we provide proof that this theory do not hold for strong mutation and that part of the theory is incorrect. The theory itself has to our knowledge, never before been evaluated empirically.

By finding counter examples, we prove that a test suite, which is 100% adequate for the non-redundant ROR mutants might not be 100% adequate for the mutants, which are supposed to be redundant. The subsumption relations do not hold for strong mutation. We have also proved that more than one top-level mutant can be detected by the same test. This should not be possible according to the theory. Hence, this part of the theory is incorrect, independent of strong or weak mutation.

Our findings are important since strong mutation is frequently used to evaluate test suites and testing criteria. Just as redundant mutants can give an overestimation of the mutation score for a test suite, using the reduced set can give an underestimation. Results reported from such studies should therefore, be accompanied by information on whether the reduced or complete set of ROR was used and if the researchers used strong or weak mutation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Skövde: University of Skövde , 2015. , p. 10
Series
IIT Technical Reports ; HS-IIT-TR-15-002
Keywords [en]
mutation testing, redundant mutant, strong mutation
National Category
Computer Sciences Software Engineering
Research subject
Distributed Real-Time Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-18931OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-18931DiVA, id: diva2:1459068
Note

HS-IIT-TR-15-002

Available from: 2020-08-19 Created: 2020-08-19 Last updated: 2020-08-19Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

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Lindström, BirgittaMárki, András

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CiteExportLink to record
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