Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



2012 34th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/ICSE.2012.6227157


Copyright 2012 IEEE


Validating code handling exceptional behavior is difficult, particularly when dealing with external resources that may be noisy and unreliable, as it requires: 1) the systematic exploration of the space of exceptions that may be thrown by the external resources, and 2) the setup of the context to trigger specific patterns of exceptions. In this work we present an approach that addresses those difficulties by performing an exhaustive amplification of the space of exceptional behavior associated with an external resource that is exercised by a test suite. Each amplification attempts to expose a program exception handling construct to new behavior by mocking an external resource so that it returns normally or throws an exception following a predefined pattern. Our assessment of the approach indicates that it can be fully automated, is powerful enough to detect 65% of the faults reported in the bug reports of this kind, and is precise enough that 77% of the detected anomalies correspond to faults fixed by the developers.