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Comparative Analysis of Constraint Handling Techniques for Constrained Combinatorial Testing

Wu, H; Changhai, N; Petke, J; Jia, Y; Harman, M; (2019) Comparative Analysis of Constraint Handling Techniques for Constrained Combinatorial Testing. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 10.1109/TSE.2019.2955687. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Constraints depict the dependency relationships between parameters in a software system under test. Because almost all systems are constrained in some way, techniques that adequately cater for constraints have become a crucial factor for adoption, deployment and exploitation of Combinatorial Testing (CT). Currently, despite a variety of different constraint handling techniques available, the relationship between these techniques and the generation algorithms that use them remains unknown, yielding an important gap and pressing concern in the literature of constrained combination testing. In this paper, we present a comparative empirical study to investigate the impact of four common constraint handling techniques on the performance of six representative (greedy and search-based) test suite generation algorithms. The results reveal that the Verify technique implemented with the Minimal Forbidden Tuple (MFT) approach is the fastest, while the Replace technique is promising for producing the smallest constrained covering arrays, especially for algorithms that construct test cases one-at-a-time. The results also show that there is an interplay between effectiveness of the constraint handler and the test suite generation algorithm into which it is developed.

Type: Article
Title: Comparative Analysis of Constraint Handling Techniques for Constrained Combinatorial Testing
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1109/TSE.2019.2955687
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1109/TSE.2019.2955687
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: combinatorial testing, constraint, survey, comparative study
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10090847
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