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Effect of code coverage on software reliability measurement

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3 Author(s)
Mei-Hwa Chen ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., State Univ. of New York, Albany, NY, USA ; Lyu, M.R. ; Wong, W.E.

Existing software reliability-growth models often over-estimate the reliability of a given program. Empirical studies suggest that the over-estimations exist because the models do not account for the nature of the testing. Every testing technique has a limit to its ability to reveal faults in a given system. Thus, as testing continues in its region of saturation, no more faults are discovered and inaccurate reliability-growth phenomena are predicted from the models. This paper presents a technique intended to solve this problem, using both time and code coverage measures for the prediction of software failures in operation. Coverage information collected during testing is used only to consider the effective portion of the test data. Execution time between test cases, which neither increases code coverage nor causes a failure, is reduced by a parameterized factor. Experiments were conducted to evaluate this technique, on a program created in a simulated environment with simulated faults, and on two industrial systems that contained tenths of ordinary faults. Two well-known reliability models, Goel-Okumoto and Musa-Okumoto, were applied to both the raw data and to the data adjusted using this technique. Results show that over-estimation of reliability is properly corrected in the cases studied. This new approach has potential, not only to achieve more accurate applications of software reliability models, but to reveal effective ways of conducting software testing

Published in:

Reliability, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 2 )