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Factors That Affect Software Testability

Factors That Affect Software Testability

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FactorsThatAectSoftwareTestability   
1Introduction   
ThispaperexposesfactorsthatIhaveobservedwhichaectprogramtestabilities
Testabilit
ofaprogramisapredictionofthetendencyforfailurestobeobservedduringrandomblack- boxtestingwhenfault
ar
present
ILLE
91b.Aprogramissaidtohav
hightestabilit
ifittendstoexposefaultsduringrandomblack-boxtesting,producingfailuresformostof theinputsthatexecuteafault.Aprogramha
lowtestabilit
ifittendstoprotectfaultfromdetectionduringrandomblack-boxtesting,producingcorrectoutputformostinputthatexecuteafault.Inthispaper,Ipurposelyavoidaformaldenitionforfaultbecausofthedicultythatoccurswhentryingtouniquelyidentifyingfaults,andinsteadusethe intuitivenotionofthetermfault
Randomblack-boxtesting 
isasoftwaretestingstrategyinwhichinputsarechosenat randomconsistentwithaparticularinputdistribution;duringthisselectionprocess,the programistreatedasablack-boxandisneverviewedastheinputsarechosen.A
inpudistributio
isthedistributionofprobabilitiesthatelementsofthedomainareselected. Onceinputsareselected,theprogramisthenexecutedontheseinputsandtheoutputsarcomparedagainstthe 
correct 
outputsSensitivityanalysis
ILLE
91bisadynamicmethodthathasbeendevelopedforpredictingprogramtestabilities.Onecharacteristicofaprogramthatmustbepredictedbeforsensitivityanalysisisperformediswhethertheprogramislikelyt
propagat
datastaterrorsiftheyarecreatedduringexecution.Propagationanalysis
ILLE
91b,
OA
91isdynamictechniqueusedforpredictingthischaracteristic.Iftheresultsofpropagationanalysissuggestthatthe 
cancellatio
ofdatastateerrorsislikelytooccurifdatastateerrorarecreated,thensensitivityanalysisproducesresultspredictingalowertestabilitythanicancellationofdatastateerrorswereunlikelytooccur. Whenallofthedatastateerrorsthatarecreatedduringanexecutionarecancelled, programfailurewillnotoccur.Ifthisoccursrepeatedly,thisproducesaninatedcondence thatthesoftwarei
correct 
.Itmightseemdesirableforacorrectoutputtobeproduceregardlessofhowtheprogramarrivedatthecorrectoutput.Thi
i
thejusticationfor fault-tolerantsoftware.Butforcriticalsoftware,anyundetectedfaultisundesirable,eveifthedatastateerroritproducesisfrequentlycancelled.Forcriticalsoftware,weprefecorrectoutputfromcorrectprograms,notcorrectoutputfromincorrectprograms.Bythe facttheprogramisincorrect,thereexistsatleastoneinputonwhichprogramfailurewiloccur,andbythefactthesoftwareiscritical,thepotentialforaloss-of-lifeexistsThispaperpresentsempiricalobservationsconcerningaphenomenonthatoccursduring programexecution;thisphenomenonsuggeststhelikelihoodofdatastateerrorcancellation 
 
occurring.Thedegreetowhichthisphenomenonoccurscanbequantiedbystaticprogram analysis,inspectionofaspecication,orboth.Notethatthisphenomenoncanbequantied statically,whichisfarlessexpensivetoperformthanthedynamicpropagationanalysis.Thuthroughstaticprogramanalysisorspecicationinspection,insightisacquiredconcerningthlikelihoodthatdatastateerrorcancellationwilloccur.Andthisgivesinsightintowhether faultswillremainundetectedduringtesting,i.e.,programtestability. Itermthisphenomenoninformationloss.
Informationloss 
occurswheninternalinformationcomputedbytheprogramduringexecutionisnotcommunicatedintheprogram'output.Informationlossincreasesthepotentialforthecancellationofdatastateerrorsand thisdecreasessoftwaretestability.Asmentioned,informationlosscanbeobservedbybotstaticprogramanalysisandinspectionofaspecication.Idivideinformationlossintotwbroadclasses:implicitinformationlossandexplicitinformationloss.Staticprogramanalysisisusedtoquantifythedegreeofexplicitinformationloss,andspecicationinspection quantiesthedegreeofimplicitinformationloss
Explicitinformationloss 
occurswhenvariablesarenotvalidatedeitherduringexecution byaself-testoratexecutionterminationasoutput.Theoccurrenceofexplicitinformation losscanbeobservedusingatechniquesuchasstaticdataowanalysis
OREL 
87.Expliciinformationlossfrequentlyoccursasaresultofinformationhiding
ARNAS 
72,howevertherareotherfactorsthatcancontributetoit.Informationhidingisadesignphilosophythat doesnotallowinformationtoleavemodulesthatcouldpotentiallybemisusedbyothemodules.Informationhidingisagooddesignphilosophy;however,itisnotnecessarilygood fortestability,becausethedatainthelocalvariablesislostuponexitingamodule.ISection3.3,Iproposeaschemewhereinformationhidingiskeptasapartofthesoftwardesignphilosophywhileitsnegativeeect,explicitinformationloss,islessened
Implicitinformationloss 
occurswhentwoormoredierentincomingparametersarpresentedtoauser-denedfunctionorabuilt-inoperatorandproducethesameoutgoing parameter.Anexampleistheintegerdivisioncomputation 
a:=adiv
.Inthecomputation 
a:=a+
,thereisnoimplicitinformationloss.Inthesetwoexamples,the potentialforimplicitinformationlossoccurringisobservedbystaticallyanalyzingthecode. Ifaspecicationstatesthattenoating-pointvariablesareinputtoanimplementation,and 2booleanvariablescontaintheimplementation'soutput,thenweknowthatimplicitinformationlosswilloccurinanimplementationofthisspecication.Thusspecicationsmay alsohintatsomedegreeoftheimplicitinformationlossthatwilloccuriftheyarewrittewithenoughinformationconcerningtheirdomainsandranges
2InformationLoss  
Ihaveproposedtwobroadclassesofinformationloss.Thefollowingpseudo-codeexamplcontainsbothtypesofinformationlossanddemonstrateshowwecanstaticallyobserve wherethesetwotypesofinformationlossoccur.Forthisexample,Iassumeinput
an
haveeectivelyinnitedomains,an
hasaneectivelyinnitedomainimmediatelybeforthestatement 
z:=zmod2
isexecuted. 
Modulexin-parametera:real,in-parameterc:realout-parameterb:boolean 
 
local-parameters z:integey:booleaBeginningofBodz:=zmod2b:=fa,c,y,z EndofBod
Withtheassumptionofeectivelyinnitedomainsfor 
,and 
,modul
suersfrom bothimplicitinformationlossandexplicitinformationloss.Explicitinformationlossoccuri
asaresultofits2localvariableswhosevaluesarenotoutputnorpassedout.Impliciinformationlosscanbeobservedinseveralways.Therstwayistheimpossibilityof takin
'svalueatmoduleterminationanddiscoveringthevaluesof 
an
thatweroriginallypassedin;innitelymanycombinationsof 
an
maptoaparticular 
.Thipotentiallycouldhavebeenobservedfromthespecicationofthemodule.Thesecondway implicitinformationlossoccursisatthestatementcontainingthe 
mo
operator;impliciinformationlossoccursbecauseoftheassumptionthat 
hasaneectivelyinnitedomain. Manyvalueso
maptoaparticularvaluein0..22afterthecomputation. 
2.1ImplicitInformationLos
Cluessuggestingsomedegreeoftheimplicitinformationlossthatmayoccurduringexecutionmaybevisiblefromtheprogram'sspecication;Iuseaspecicationmetrictermethedomainrangeratio"forsuggestingadegreeofimplicitinformationloss
ILLE
91aRecallthatintheexamplewewerealsoabletoobserveimplicitinformationlossbycode inspection.Therefore,aspecication'sdomainrangeratioonlysuggestsaportionofthe implicitinformationlossthatmayoccur;codeinspectioncangiveadditionalinformation concerningimplicitinformationlossTh
domainrangerati
DRRofaspecicationistheratiobetweenthecardinalityof thedomainofthespecicationtothecardinalityoftherangeofthespecication.IdenoteDRRb
 
 
,wher
 
isthecardinalityofthedomain,and 
 
isthecardinalityoftherange. Aspreviouslystated,thisratiowillnotalwaysbevisiblefromaspecication.Afterall,therarespecicationswhoserangesarenotknownuntilprogramsarewrittentoimplementthe specications.Andiftheprogramisincorrect,anincorrectDRRwillprobablybecalculated. DRRsroughlypredictadegreeofimplicitinformationloss.GenerallyastheDRincreasesforaspecication,thepotentialforimplicitinformationlossoccurringwithinthimplementationincreases.When 
 
isgreaterthan 
 
,previousresearchhassuggestedthat faultsaremorelikelytoremainundetectedifanyexistduringtestingthanwhen 
 
 
ILLE
91a

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