Efficient Systematic Testing for Dynamically Updatable Software. Christopher M. Hayden, Eric A. Hardisty, Michael Hicks, and Jeffrey S. Foster. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Hot Topics in Software Upgrades (HotSWUp), October 2009. Invited article.

Recent years have seen significant advances in dynamic software updating (DSU) systems, which allow programs to be patched on the fly. However, a significant challenge remains: How can we ensure the act of applying a patch does not itself introduce errors? In this paper, we address this problem by presenting a new systematic testing methodology for updatable programs. Our idea is to transform standard system tests into update tests that execute as before, but each transformed test applies a patch at a different update point during execution. To mitigate the increase in the number of tests, we developed an algorithm for test suite minimization that finds a subset of update points that, if fully tested, yields the equivalent to full update point coverage. We implemented our approach and evaluated it on OpenSSH and Vsftpd, two widely used server applications. We found that minimization is highly effective, reducing the number of update tests required for full coverage by 93%.

.pdf ]

  author = {Christopher M. Hayden and Eric A. Hardisty and Michael Hicks and Jeffrey S. Foster},
  title = {Efficient Systematic Testing for Dynamically Updatable Software},
  booktitle = {Proceedings of the Workshop on Hot Topics in Software Upgrades (HotSWUp)},
  note = {Invited article},
  year = 2009,
  month = oct

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