Computing That Serves

Software Testing: An Evolution-Centric Perspective


Thursday, February 14, 2008 - 11:00am


Gregg Rothermel, Professor & Jensen Chair of Software Engineering, University of Nebraska

Useful software evolves: it is corrected, enhanced, and adapted to new platforms, resulting in new releases of systems.  To validate these new releases, software engineers "regression test" them.  Such regression testing is important for software quality, but it is also expensive, and in fact, often dominates overall software costs.  This motivates an evolution-centric perspective on software testing, where emphasis is placed on regression testing.   In this talk I describe research following this perspective.  I first describe one particular approach to regression testing using regression test selection techniques (which reduce regression testing costs by selecting subsets of existing test suites for reexecution), present techniques for performing regression test selection, and describe empirical results obtained in studying those techniques. I then summarize other recent research on evolution-centric testing, and discuss ramifications of that work.


Gregg Rothermel's research interests include software engineering and program analysis, with emphases on the application of program analysis techniques to problems in software maintenance and testing, end-user software engineering, and empirical studies. He received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 1996 for his research on software maintenance and testing. He is a co-founder of the EUSES, (End-Users Shaping Effective Software) Consortium, a group of researchers who, with National Science Foundation support, are leading end-user software engineering research.
Dr. Rothermel received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clemson University, the M.S. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany and a B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College. He is currently a Professor and Jensen Chair of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Nebraska. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Empirical Software Engineering Journal and Software Quality Journal. He was the Program Co-Chair for the 2007 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).