A semantic model of program faults

A. Jefferson Offutt, J. Huffman Hayes
1996 Software engineering notes  
Program faults are artifacts that are widely studied, but there a r e many aspects of faults that we still do not understand. In addition to the simple fact that one important goal during testing is to cause failures and thereby detect faults, a full understanding of the characteristics of faults is crucial to several research areas in testing. These include fault-based testing, testability, mutation testing, and the comparative evaluation of testing strategies. In this workshop paper, we
more » ... hop paper, we explore the fundamental nature of faults by looking at the di erences between a syntactic and semantic characterization of faults. We o er de nitions of these characteristics and explore t h e di erentiation. Speci cally, we discuss the concept of size" of program faults the measurement of size provides interesting and useful distinctions between the syntactic and semantic characterization of faults. We use the fault size observations to make several predictions about testing and present preliminary data that supports this model. We also use the model to o er explanations about several questions that have intrigued testing researchers.
doi:10.1145/226295.226317 fatcat:ql4a5fxb7fgcdnvybjaui5wdq4