Empirical Evaluation of the Statement Deletion Mutation Operator

6th IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST 2013),
March 2013, Luxembourg.

Lin Deng, Jeff Offutt, and Nan Li


Mutation analysis is widely considered to be an exceptionally effective criterion for designing tests. It is also widely considered to be expensive in terms of the number of test requirements and in the amount of execution needed to create a good test suite. This paper posits that simply deleting statements, implemented with the statement deletion (SDL) mutation operators in Mothra, is enough to get very good tests. A version of the SDL operator for Java was designed and implemented inside the muJava mutation system. The SDL operator was applied to 40 separate Java classes, tests were designed to kill the non-equivalent SDL mutants, and then run against all mutants.

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