Scaling Regression Testing to Large Software Systems


When software is modified during development and maintenance, it is regression tested to provide confidence that the changes did not introduce unexpected errors and that the new features behave as expected. One important problem in regression testing is how to select a subset of the test cases from the test suite used to test the original version of the software, when testing a modified version of the software. Regression-test-selection techniques address this problem. Safe regression-test-selection techniques select every test case in the test suite that may behave differently in the original and modified versions of the software. Among existing safe regression testing techniques, efficient techniques are often too imprecise and achieve little savings in testing effort, whereas precise techniques are too expensive when used on large systems. This paper presents a new regression-test-selection technique for Java programs that is safe, precise, and yet scales to large systems. It also presents a tool that implements the technique and studies performed on a set of subjects ranging from 70 to over 500 KLOC. The studies show that our technique can efficiently reduce the regression testing effort and, thus, achieve considerable savings.

Related research categories:
(1) Program Analysis
(2) Regression Testing
(3) Testing
(4) Empirical Studies

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