The Use of Program Profiling in Software Testing
This paper describes new techniques to help with testing and debugging, using information obtained from path profiling. A path profiler instruments a program so that each run of the program generates a path spectrum for the execution—a distribution of acyclic path fragments that were executed during that run. Our techniques are based on the idea of comparing path spectra from different runs of the program. When different runs produce different spectra, the spectral differences can be used to identify paths in the program along which control diverges in the two runs. By choosing input datasets to hold all factors constant except one, the divergence can be attributed to this factor. The point of divergence itself may not be the cause of the underlying problem, but provides a starting place for a programmer to begin his exploration.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Bala, V., “Low overhead path profiling,” Tech. Rep., Hewlett-Packard Labs (1996).Google Scholar
- 2.Ball, T. and Larus, J., “Efficient path profiling,” in Proc. of MICRO-29, (Dec. 1996).Google Scholar
- 3.Clarke, L.A., Podgurski, A., Richardson, D.J., and Zeil, S.J., “A comparison of data flow path selection criteria,” pp. 244–251 inProc. of the Eighth Int. Conf on Softw. Eng., IEEE Comp. Soc. Press, Wash., DC (1985).Google Scholar
- 5.Johnson, S.C, “Postloading for fun and profit,”pp. 325–330 in Proc. of the Winter 1990 USENIX Conf., (Jan. 1990).Google Scholar
- 7.Ottenstein, K.J. and Ottenstein, L.M., “The program dependence graph in a software development environment, ”Proc. of the ACM SIGSOFT/SIGPLAN Softw. Eng. Symp. on Practical Software Development Environments, (Pittsburgh, PA, Apr. 23-25, 1984),ACM SIGPLAN Notices 19(5) pp. 177–184 (May 1984).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.Rapps, S. and Weyuker, E.J., “Selecting software test data using data flow information,”IEEE Trans. on Softw. Eng. SE-11(4) pp.367-375(Apr. 1985).Google Scholar
- 10.Reps, T., Ball, T., Das, M., and Larus, J., “The use of program profiling for software maintenance with applications to the Year 2000 Problem,” in Proc. of ESEC/FSE ’97: Sixth European Softw. Eng. Conf. and Fifth ACM SIGSOFT Symp. on the Found. of Softw. Eng., (Zurich, Switzerland, Sept. 22–25,1997),Lec. Notes inComp. Sci., Springer-Verlag, New York, NY (1997).Google Scholar
- 11.Roper, M ., Software Testing, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY (1994)Google Scholar
- 14.Weiser, M., “Program slicing,“ IEEE Trans. on Softw. Eng. SE-10(4) pp.352 – 357 (July 1984).Google Scholar