Mutation Analysis Using Program Schemata

1993 International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, pages 139--148, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 1993.

Roland Untch, Mary Jean Harrold, and Jeff Offutt


Mutation analysis is a powerful technique for assessing and improving the quality of test data used to unit test software. Unfortunately, current automated mutation analysis systems suffer from severe performance problems. This paper presents a new method for performing mutation analysis that uses program schemata to encode all mutants for a program into one metaprogram, which is subsequently compiled and run at speeds substantially higher than achieved by previous interpretive systems. Preliminary performance improvements of over 300% are reported. This method has the additional advantages of being easier to implement than interpretive systems, being simpler to port across a wide range of hardware and software platforms, and using the same compiler and run-time support system that is used during development and/or deployment.

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