Fault Detection Capabilities of Coupling-based OO Testing

Thirteenth International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering, Annapolis, MD, November 2002.

Roger T. Alexander, Jeff Offutt and James M. Bieman.


Object-oriented programs cause a shift in focus from software units to the way software classes and components are connected. Thus, we are finding that we need less emphasis on unit testing and more on integration testing. The compositional relationships of inheritance and aggregations, especially when combined with polymorphism, introduce new kinds of integration faults, which can be covered using testing criteria that take the effects of inheritance and polymorphism into account. This paper demonstrates, via a set of experiments, the relative effectiveness of several coupling-based OO testing criteria and branch coverage. OO criteria are all more effective at detecting faults due to the use of inheritance and polymorphism than branch coverage.

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