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Fault Classes and Error Detection in Specification Based Testing



David R. Kuhn


Specification based testing relies upon methods for generating test cases from predicates in a software specification. These methods derive various test conditions from logic expressions, with the aim of detecting different types of faults. Some authors have presented empirical results demonstrating their effectiveness of the test generation methods. This paper examines the conditions under which a particular fault class will cause an error for a given predicate. These conditions must be covered by a test set for the test set to guarantee detection of the particular fault class. By deriving the general conditions under which various fault classes cause an error, we show that there is a coverage hierarchy to fault classes. The fault hierarchy is then used to explain experimental results on fault based testing. This work is significant because it provides a method for comparing the effectiveness of test sets designed for various fault models.
- 6140
Report Number


fault models, formal methods, formal specification, software testing, test generation


Kuhn, D. (1998), Fault Classes and Error Detection in Specification Based Testing, - 6140, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed July 23, 2024)


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Created February 1, 1998, Updated October 16, 2008