Assurances in software testing: a roadmap

Marcel Bohme

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch

9 Citations (Scopus)


As researchers, we already understand how to make testing more effective and efficient at finding bugs. However, as fuzzing (i.e., automated testing) becomes more widely adopted in practice, practitioners are asking: Which assurances does a fuzzing campaign provide that exposes no bugs? When is it safe to stop the fuzzer with a reasonable residual risk? How much longer should the fuzzer be run to achieve sufficient coverage? It is time for us to move beyond the innovation of increasingly sophisticated testing techniques, to build a body of knowledge around the explication and quantification of the testing process, and to develop sound methodologies to estimate and extrapolate these quantities with measurable accuracy. In our vision of the future practitioners leverage a rich statistical toolset to assess residual risk, to obtain statistical guarantees, and to analyze the cost-benefit trade-off for ongoing fuzzing campaigns. We propose a general framework as a first starting point to tackle this fundamental challenge and discuss a large number of concrete opportunities for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationNew Ideas and Emerging Results, ICSE-NIER 2019
EditorsAnita Sarma, Leonarado Murta
Place of PublicationPiscataway NJ USA
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117584
ISBN (Print)9781728117591
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Conference on Software Engineering 2019: New Ideas and Emerging Results - Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montreal, Canada
Duration: 25 May 201931 May 2019
Conference number: 41st (Proceedings)


ConferenceInternational Conference on Software Engineering 2019
Abbreviated titleICSE-NIER 2019
OtherTrack within the International Conference on Software Engineering
Internet address


  • Cost benefit tradeoff
  • Guarantees
  • Residual risk
  • Statistics

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