An Empirical Comparison of Similarity Measures for Abstract Test Case Prioritization

Rubing Huang, Yunan Zhou, Weiwen Zong, Dave Towey, Jinfu Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Test case prioritization (TCP) attempts to order test cases such that those which are more important, according to some criterion or measurement, are executed earlier. TCP has been applied in many testing situations, including, for example, regression testing. An abstract test case (also called a model input) is an important type of test case, and has been widely used in practice, such as in configurable systems and software product lines. Similarity-based test case prioritization (STCP) has been proven to be cost-effective for abstract test cases (ATCs), but because there are many similarity measures which could be used to evaluate ATCs and to support STCP, we face the following question: How can we choose the similarity measure(s) for prioritizing ATCs that will deliver the most effective results? To address this, we studied fourteen measures and two popular STCP algorithms-local STCP (LSTCP), and global STCP (GSTCP). We also conducted an empirical study of five realworld programs, and investigated the efficacy of each similarity measure, according to the interaction coverage rate and fault detection rate. The results of these studies show that GSTCP outperforms LSTCP-in 61% to 84% of the cases, in terms of interaction coverage rates; and in 76% to 78% of the cases with respect to fault detection rates. Our studies also show that Overlap, the simplest similarity measure examined in this study, could obtain the overall best performance for LSTCP; and that Goodall3 has the best performance for GSTCP.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2017 IEEE 41st Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2017
EditorsClaudio Demartini, Thomas Conte, Motonori Nakamura, Chung-Horng Lung, Zhiyong Zhang, Kamrul Hasan, Sorel Reisman, Ling Liu, William Claycomb, Hiroki Takakura, Ji-Jiang Yang, Edmundo Tovar, Stelvio Cimato, Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed, Toyokazu Akiyama
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781538603673
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2017
Event41st IEEE Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2017 - Torino, Italy
Duration: 4 Jul 20178 Jul 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Computer Software and Applications Conference
ISSN (Print)0730-3157


Conference41st IEEE Annual Computer Software and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2017


  • Software testing
  • abstract test case
  • similarity
  • test case prioritization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


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