Computer Science and Engineering, Department of



Incorporating Varying Test Costs and Fault Severities into Test Case Prioritization

Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Software Engineering, 2001. ICSE 2001. Copyright 2001 IEEE. Used by permission.


Test case prioritization techniques schedule test cases for regression testing in an order that increases their ability to meet some performance goal. One performance goal, rate offault detection, measures how quickly faults are detected within the testing process. In previous work we provided a metric, APFD, for measuring rate of fault detection, and techniques for prioritizing test cases to improve APFD, and reported the results of experiments using those techniques. This metric and these techniques, however, applied only in cases in which test costs and fault severity are uniform. In this paper, we present a new metric for assessing the rate of fault detection of prioritized test cases, that incorporates varying test case and fault costs. We present the results of a case study illustrating the application of the metric. This study raises several practical questions that might arise in applying test case prioritization; we discuss how practitioners could go about answering these questions.

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