Quantitative analysis of mutant equivalence

Amani Ayad, Imen Marsit, Sara Tawfig, Ji Meng Loh, Mohamed Nazih Omri, Ali Mili

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

1 Scopus citations


Program mutation is the process of generating syntactic variations of a base program and analyzing them by comparison with the base; this process is meaningful only to the extent that the mutants are semantically distinct from the base program, but that is not always the case. Two programs may be syntactically distinct yet semantically equivalent. The problem of identifying and weeding out equivalent mutants has eluded researchers for a long time. In this chapter we argue that researchers ought to abandon the overly ambitious goal of determining whether a program and its mutant are equivalent, and focus instead on the more modest, but sufficient, goal of estimating the number of equivalent mutants that a program is prone to generate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSoftware Technologies - 14th International Conference, ICSOFT 2019, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsMarten van Sinderen, Leszek A. Maciaszek, Leszek A. Maciaszek
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9783030529901
StatePublished - 2020
Event14th International Conference on Software Technologies, ICSOFT 2019 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Jul 26 2019Jul 28 2019

Publication series

NameCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Volume1250 CCIS
ISSN (Print)1865-0929
ISSN (Electronic)1865-0937


Conference14th International Conference on Software Technologies, ICSOFT 2019
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Computer Science
  • General Mathematics


  • Equivalent mutants
  • Mutation score
  • Mutation testing
  • Redundant mutants
  • Software metrics


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