An Applicable Family of Data Flow Testing Criteria

Phyllis G. Frankl, Elaine J. Weyuker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A test data adequacy criterion is a predicate which is used to determine whether a program has been tested “enough.” An adequacy criterion is applicable if for every program there exists a set of test data for the program which satisfies the criterion. Most test data adequacy criteria based on path selection fail to satisfy the applicability property because, for some programs with unexecutable paths, no adequate set of test data exists. In this paper, we extend the definitions of the previously introduced family of data flow testing criteria to apply to programs written in a large subset of Pascal. We then define a new family of adequacy criteria called feasible data Row testing criteria, which are derived from the data flow testing criteria. The feasible data flow testing criteria circumvent the problem of nonapplicability of the data flow testing criteria by requiring the test data to exercise only those definition-use associations which are executable. We show that there are significant differences between the relationships among the data flow testing criteria and the relationships among the feasible data flow testing criteria. We also discuss a generalized notion of the executability of a path through a program unit. A script of a testing session using our data flow testing tool, ASSET, is included in the Appendix.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1483-1498
    Number of pages16
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Oct 1988


    • Data flow analysis
    • software testing
    • software validation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software


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