Open Systems Laboratory at Illinois

Targeted test input generation using symbolic-concrete backward execution

By Peter Dinges and Gul Agha. In 29th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). Västerås, Sweden, September 15-19 2014. ACM.

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Knowing inputs that cover a specific branch or statement in a program is useful for debugging and regression testing. Symbolic backward execution (SBE) is a natural approach to find such targeted inputs. However, SBE struggles with complicated arithmetic, external method calls, and data-dependent loops that occur in many real-world programs. We propose symcretic execution, a novel combination of SBE and concrete forward execution that can efficiently find targeted inputs despite these challenges. An evaluation of our approach on a range of test cases shows that symcretic execution finds inputs in more cases than concolic testing tools while exploring fewer path segments. Integration of our approach will allow test generation tools to fill coverage gaps and static bug detectors to verify candidate bugs with concrete test cases.


    author = "Dinges, Peter and Agha, Gul",
    title = "Targeted Test Input Generation Using Symbolic-Concrete
             Backward Execution",
    address = "Västerås, Sweden",
    booktitle = "29th IEEE/ACM International Conference on
                 Automated Software Engineering (ASE)",
    month = "September 15-19",
    publisher = "ACM",
    year = "2014",