Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Software Reliability Engineering (ISSRE), 2013 IEEE 24th International Symposium on Year: 2013 Pages: 11 - 20, DOI: 10.1109/ISSRE.2013.6698900


Copyright © 2013 IEEE. Used by permission.


Modern computer systems are prone to various classes of runtime faults due to their reliance on features such as concurrency and peripheral devices such as sensors. Testing remains a common method for uncovering faults in these systems, but many runtime faults are difficult to detect using typical testing oracles that monitor only program output. In this work we empirically investigate the use of internal test oracles: oracles that detect faults by monitoring aspects of internal program and system states. We compare these internal oracles to each other and to output-based oracles for relative effectiveness and examine tradeoffs between oracles involving incorrect reports about faults (false positives and false negatives). Our results reveal several implications that test engineers and researchers should consider when testing for runtime faults.