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Tackling the Path Explosion Problem in Symbolic Execution-Driven Test Generation for Programs

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3 Author(s)
Krishnamoorthy, S. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA ; Hsiao, M.S. ; Lingappan, L.

Symbolic techniques have been shown to be very effective in path-based test generation, however, they fail to scale to large programs due to the exponential number of paths to be explored. In this paper, we focus on tackling this path explosion problem and propose search strategies to achieve quick branch coverage under symbolic execution, while exploring only a fraction of paths in the program. We present a reach ability-guided strategy that makes use of the reach ability graph of the program to explore unvisited portions of the program and a conflict-driven backtracking strategy that utilizes conflict analysis to perform nonchronological backtracking. We present experimental evidence that these strategies can significantly reduce the search space and improve the speed of test generation for programs.

Published in:

Test Symposium (ATS), 2010 19th IEEE Asian

Date of Conference:

1-4 Dec. 2010