Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Mutation Operators for Specifications



Paul E. Black, Vadim Okun, Yaacov Yesha


Testing has a vital support role in the software engineering process, but developing tests often takes significant resources. A formal specification is a repository of knowledge about a system, and a recent method uses such specifications to automatically generate complete test suites via mutation analysis. We define an extensive set of mutation operators for use with this method. We report the results of our theoretical and experimental investigation of the relationships between the classes of faults detected by the various operators. Finally, we recommend sets of mutation operators which yield good test coverage at a reduced cost compared to using all proposed operators.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the Fifteenth IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2000)
Conference Dates
September 11-15, 2000
Conference Location
Conference Title
The Fifteenth IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2000)


formal specification, mutation analysis, mutation operators
Created September 15, 2000, Updated November 10, 2018