An Efficient 2-Phase Strategy to Achieve High Branch Coverage

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Virginia Tech


Symbolic execution-based test generation is gaining popularity for software test generation. The increasing complexity of the software program is posing new challenges in software execution-based test generation because of the path explosion problem. We present a new 2-phase symbolic execution driven strategy that achieves high branch coverage in software quickly. Phase 1 follows a greedy approach that quickly covers as many branches as possible by exploring each branch through its corresponding shortest path prefix. Phase 2 covers the remaining branches that are left uncovered if the shortest path to the branch was infeasible. In Phase 1, a basic conflict driven learning is used to skip all the paths that may have any of the earlier encountered conflicting conditions, while in Phase 2, a more intelligent conflict driven learning is used to skip regions that do not have a feasible path to any unexplored branch. This results in considerable reduction in unnecessary SMT solver calls. Experimental results show that significant speedup can be achieved, effectively reducing the time to detect a bug and providing higher branch coverage for a fixed time out period than previous techniques.



Branch Coverage, Conflict-driven Learning, Symbolic Execution, Software Testing