Identifying metamorphic relations : A data mutation directed approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Chang-ai Sun
  • Hui Jin
  • SiYi Wu
  • An Fu
  • ZuoYi Wang

Related Research Unit(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationSoftware - Practice and Experience
Online published18 Oct 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 18 Oct 2023

Abstract

Metamorphic testing (MT) is an effective technique to alleviate the test oracle problem. The principle of MT is to detect failures by checking whether some necessary properties, commonly known as metamorphic relations (MRs), of software under test (SUT) hold among multiple executions of source and follow-up test cases. Since both the generation of follow-up test cases and test result verification depend on MRs, the identification of MRs plays a key role in MT, which is an important yet difficult task requiring deep domain knowledge of the SUT. Accordingly, techniques that can direct a tester to identify MRs effectively are desirable. In this paper, we propose μMT, a data mutation directed approach to identifying MRs. μMT guides a tester to identify MRs by providing a set of data mutation operators and template-style mapping rules, which not only alleviates the difficulties faced in the process of MR identification but also improves the identification effectiveness. We have further developed a tool to implement the proposed approach and conducted an empirical study to evaluate the MR identification effectiveness of μMT and the performance of MRs identified by μMT with respect to fault detection capability and statement coverage. The empirical results show that μMT is able to identify MRs for numeric programs effectively, and the identified MRs have high fault detection capability and statement coverage. The work presented in this paper advances the field of MT by providing a simple yet practical approach to the MR identification problem. © 2023 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • metamorphic relation, metamorphic testing, software testing, test Oracle

Citation Format(s)

Identifying metamorphic relations: A data mutation directed approach. / Sun, Chang-ai; Jin, Hui; Wu, SiYi et al.
In: Software - Practice and Experience, 18.10.2023.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review