Differentiators and detectors

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2 Scopus citations


Given two programs, say P and Q, a differentiator is a test suite T such that execution of P and Q on T produces different outcomes; this concept is used in mutation testing, where it is important to highlight semantic differences between non-equivalent mutants. Given a specification R and a program P, a detector is a test suite T such that execution of P on T disproves the correctness of P with respect to R; this concept is clearly useful in program testing. In this note I elaborate on previous research to refine and characterize these concepts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106111
JournalInformation Processing Letters
StatePublished - Aug 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Failure detector
  • Mutation testing
  • Program correctness
  • Test differentiator


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