Investigations of the Software Testing Coupling Effect

ACM Transactions on Software Engineering Methodology, Vol 1, No 1, January, 1992, pages 3--18.

Jeff Offutt


Fault-based testing strategies test software by focusing on specific, common types of faults. The coupling effect hypothesizes that test data sets that detect simple types of faults are sensitive enough to detect more complex types of faults. This paper describes empirical investigations into the coupling effect over a specific class of software faults. All of the results from this investigation support the validity of the coupling effect. The major conclusion from this investigation is the fact that by explicitly testing for simple faults, we are also implicitly testing for more complicated faults, giving us confidence that fault-based testing is an effective way to test software.

It was reviewed in Computing Reviews by Richard A. Baker, Jr.

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