Regression Testing

Authored by: Gregory M. Kapfhammer

Encyclopedia of Software Engineering

Print publication date:  November  2010
Online publication date:  November  2010

Print ISBN: 9781420059779
eBook ISBN: 9781351249270
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-ESE-120044337

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Abstract

Regression testing techniques execute a test suite whenever the addition of defect fixes or new functionality changes the program under test. The repeated execution of a test suite aims to establish a confidence in the correctness of the software application and identify defects that were introduced by the program modifications. Industry experiences suggest that regression testing often improves the quality of the application under test. However, testing teams may not always perform regression testing because the frequent execution of the tests often incurs high time and space overheads. Test suite selection techniques try to reduce the cost of testing by running a subset of the tests, such as those that execute the modified source code, in order to ensure that the updated program still operates correctly. Alternatively, reduction methods decrease testing time overheads by discarding the tests that redundantly cover the test requirements. Approaches to test suite prioritization reorder the test cases in an attempt to maximize the rate at which the tests achieve a testing goal such as code coverage. After describing a wide variety of metrics for empirically evaluating different regression testing methods, this entry considers the efficiency and effectiveness trade-offs associated with these techniques. The conclusion of this entry summarizes the state of the art in the field of regression testing and then offers suggestions for future work and resources for further study.

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