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This paper presents a new approach to detecting faults in interconnects; the novelty of the proposed approach is that test generation and scheduling are established using the physical characteristics of the layout of the interconnect under test. This includes critical area extraction and a realistic fault model for a structural methodology. Physical layout information is used to model the adjacencies in an interconnect and possible bridge faults with a weighted graph, which is then analyzed to appropriately compact the tests and schedule their execution for (early) detection of bridge faults. Generation and compaction of the test vectors are accomplished by calculating node and edge weight heuristics from the weighted adjacency graph. Simulation has been performed for unweighted and weighted fault models. Results on random interconnects and the local interconnect of a commercially available field-programmable gate array are provided. The advantage of the proposed approach is that, on average, early detection of faults is possible using significantly fewer tests than with previous approaches. A further advantage is that it represents a realistic alternative to adaptive testing because it avoids costly on-line test generation, while still having a small number of vectors.