Advertisement

The Use of Program Profiling in Software Testing

  • Thomas Reps
Part of the Informatik aktuell book series (INFORMAT)

Abstract

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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Bala, V., “Low overhead path profiling,” Tech. Rep., Hewlett-Packard Labs (1996).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ball, T. and Larus, J., “Efficient path profiling,” in Proc. of MICRO-29, (Dec. 1996).Google Scholar
  3. 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
  4. 4.
    Horwitz, S., Reps, T., and Binkley, D., “Interprocedural slicing using dependence graphs,”ACM Trans. Program. Lang. Syst. 12(1) pp. 26 – 60 (Jan. 1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Johnson, S.C, “Postloading for fun and profit,”pp. 325–330 in Proc. of the Winter 1990 USENIX Conf., (Jan. 1990).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Larus, J.R. and Schnarr, E., “EEL: Machine-independent executable editing,”Proc. of the ACM SIGPLAN 95 Conf. on Programming Language Design and Implementation, (LaJolla, CA, June 18-21, 1995),ACM SIGPLANNotices 30(6) pp. 291 – 300 (June 1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 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. 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
  9. 9.
    Reps, T., Horwitz, S., Sagiv, M., and Rosay, G., “Speeding up slicing,”SIGSOFT 94:Proc. of the Second ACM SIGSOFT Symp. on the Found. of Softw. Eng., (New Orleans, LA, Dec. 7–9,1994),ACM SIGSOFT Softw. Eng. Notes 19(5) pp.11–20(Dec. 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 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. 11.
    Roper, M ., Software Testing, McGraw-Hill, New York, NY (1994)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Sedgewick, R .,Algorithms, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1983).zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Srivastava, A. and Eustace, A., “ATOM: A system for building customized program analysis tools,” Proc. of the ACM SIGPLAN 94 Conf. on Programming Language Design and Implementation, (Orlando, FL, June 22-24, 1994), ACM SIGPLAN Notices 29(6) pp. 196–205 (June 1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Weiser, M., “Program slicing,“ IEEE Trans. on Softw. Eng. SE-10(4) pp.352 – 357 (July 1984).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Woodward, M.R., Hedley, D., and Hennell, M.A., “Experience with path analysis and testing of programs,“ IEEE Trans. on Softw. Eng. SE-6(3)pp. 278–286 (May1980).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Reps
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Sciences DepartmentUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

Personalised recommendations