Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, VOL. 22, NO. 8, AUGUST 1996. Copyright © 1996 IEEE. Used by permission.


Regression testing is a necessary but expensive maintenance activity aimed at showing that code has not been adversely affected by changes. Regression test selection techniques reuse tests from an existing test suite to test a modified program. Many regression test selection techniques have been proposed; however, it is difficult to compare and evaluate these techniques because they have different goals. This paper outlines the issues relevant to regression test selection techniques, and uses these issues as the basis for a framework within which to evaluate the techniques. We illustrate the application of our framework by using it to evaluate existing regression test selection techniques. The evaluation reveals the strengths and weaknesses of existing techniques, and highlights some problems that future work in this area should address.