How Test Suites Impact Fault Localization Starting from the Size

  • Yan Lei, Chengnian Sun, Xiaoguang Mao, Zhendong Su
  • IET Software, January 2018, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (the IET)
  • DOI: 10.1049/iet-sen.2017.0026

What is it about?

Although a test suite is indispensable for conducting effective fault localization, not much work has been done to study how the test suite impacts fault localization. This paper presents a systematic study for a deeper understanding of their relation. Our result is drawn from a large-scale empirical analysis on the localization effectiveness with respect to randomly sampled test suites. This paper presents the details of the study and our follow-up investigation on the findings.

Why is it important?

our study reveals an interesting fact that there is no strong correlation between localization effectiveness and the size of the test suite. We show that, in a test suite, (1) the passing test cases that do not execute the faulty statements and the failing test cases have a positive effect on fault localization effectiveness, while (2) the passing test cases that exercise the faulty statements have a negative impact on localization performance.


Yan Lei
Chongqing University

Our work provides a new perspective on fault localization and suggests fresh directions of research on an extensively studied topic of test suites for fault loclaization.

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