University of Minnesota
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The Effect of Program and Model Structure on MC/DC Test Adequacy Coverage

Date of Publication: 
May 2008
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In avionics and other critical systems domains, adequacy of test suites is currently measured using the MC/DC metric on source code (or on a model in model-based development). We believe that the rigor of the MC/DC metric is highly sensitive to the structure of the implementation and can therefore be misleading as a test adequacy criterion. We investigate this hypothesis by empirically studying the effect of program structure on MC/DC coverage. To perform this investigation, we use six realistic systems from the civil avionics domain and two toy examples. For each of these systems, we use two versions of their implementation|with and without expression folding (i.e., inlining). To assess the sensitivity of MC/DC to program structure, we first generate test suites that satisfy MC/DC over a non-inlined implementation. We then run the generated test suites over the inlined implementation and measure MC/DC achieved. For our realistic examples, the test suites yield an average reduction of 29.5% in MC/DC achieved over the inlined implementations at 5% statistical significance level.
Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Software engineering (ICSE 2008) (ICSE 2008 Distinguished Paper)
@INPROCEEDINGS{rajan2008epa, title={{The Effect of Program and Model Structure on MC/DC Test Adequacy Coverage}}, author={Rajan, A. and Whalen, M.W. and Heimdahl, M.P.E.}, booktitle={Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Software engineering}, pages={161--170}, year={2008}, organization={ACM New York, NY, USA} }