Vacuity in testing

Thomas Ball*, Orna Kupferman

*Corresponding author for this work

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

20 Scopus citations


In recent years, we see a growing awareness to the importance of assessing the quality of specifications. In the context of model checking, this can be done by analyzing the effect of applying mutations to the specification or the system. If the system satisfies the mutated specification, we know that some elements of the specification do not play a role in its satisfaction, thus the specification is satisfied in some vacuous way. If the mutated system satisfies the specification, we know that some elements of the system are not covered by the specification. Coverage in model checking has been adopted from the area of testing, where coverage information is crucial in measuring the exhaustiveness of test suits. It is now time for model checking to pay back, and let testing enjoy the rich theory and applications of vacuity. We define and study vacuous satisfaction in the context of testing, and demonstrate how vacuity analysis can lead to better specifications and test suits.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationTests and Proofs - Second International Conference, TAP 2008, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)354079123X, 9783540791232
StatePublished - 2008
Event2nd International Conference on Tests and Proofs, TAP 2008 - Prato, Italy
Duration: 9 Apr 200811 Apr 2008

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume4966 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference2nd International Conference on Tests and Proofs, TAP 2008


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