Conference paper

Fast black-box testing of system recovery code

Fault injection-a key technique for testing the robustness of software systems-ends up rarely being used in practice, because it is labor-intensive and one needs to choose between performing random injections (which leads to poor coverage and low representativeness) or systematic testing (which takes a long time to wade through large fault spaces). As a result, testers of systems with high reliability requirements, such as MySQL, perform fault injection in an ad-hoc manner, using explicitly-coded injection statements in the base source code and manual triggering of failures. This paper introduces AFEX, a technique and tool for automating the entire fault injection process, from choosing the faults to inject, to setting up the environment, performing the injections, and finally characterizing the results of the tests (e.g., in terms of impact, coverage, and redundancy). The AFEX approach uses a metric-driven search algorithm that aims to maximize the number of bugs discovered in a fixed amount of time. We applied AFEX to real-world systems-MySQL, Apache httpd, UNIX utilities, and MongoDB-and it uncovered new bugs automatically in considerably less time than other black-box approaches. © 2012 ACM.

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