"Software Testing: An Evolution-Centric Perspective" by Dr. Gregg Rothermel

Date: November 21, 2008
Time: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Room: BSB 3.02.02 (Loeffler Room)

Software Testing: An Evolution-Centric Perspective,
by Dr. Gregg Rothermel (University of Nebraska)


Useful software evolves: it is corrected, enhanced, and adapted to new platforms, resulting in new releases of systems. To validate these new releases, software engineers "regression test" them. Such regression testing is important for software quality, but it is also expensive, and in fact, often dominates overall software costs. This motivates an evolution-centric perspective on software testing, where emphasis is placed on regression testing. In this talk I describe research following this perspective. I first describe one particular approachto regression testing using regression test selection techniques (which reduce regression testing costs by selecting subsets of existing test suites for reexecution), present techniques for performing regression test selection, and describe empirical results obtained in studying those techniques. I then summarize other recent research on evolution-centric testing, and discuss ramifications of that work.


Gregg Rothermel's research interests include software engineering and program analysis, with emphases on the application of program analysis techniques to problems in software maintenance and testing, end-user software engineering, and empirical studies. He received a NationalScience Foundation CAREER Award in 1996 for his research on software maintenance and testing. He is a co-founder of the EUSES, (End-UsersShaping Effective Software) Consortium, a group of researchers who, with National Science Foundation support, are leading end-user softwareengineering research. He is a co-founder of Red Rover Software, a company creating software to help users create dependable spread sheets. His research has also been supported by Boeing Commercial Airplane Group,Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, and Rogue Wave Software. In a recent ranking of International Software Engineering Scholars based on research productivity, Dr. Rothermel was tied for first (CACM V.50, Issue 6).

Dr. Rothermel is a member of the Editorial Boards of the Empirical Software Engineering Journal and Software Quality Journal. Previous positions include Associate Editor in Chief for IEEE Transactions onSoftware Engineering, Program Co-Chair for the 2007 International Conference on Software Engineering, Program Chair for the 2004 ACM International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis, and Chair of the Steering Committee for the International Conference on Software Maintenance. He has served on the program committees for numerous software engineering conferences including the IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, the ACM International Symposium on Foundations of Software Engineering, and the ACM International Symposium on SoftwareTesting and Analysis.

Dr. Rothermel received the Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clemson University, the M.S. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany and a B.A. in Philosophy from Reed College. He iscurrently a Professor and Jensen Chair of Software Engineering in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Nebraska where he is a founding member of the Laboratory for Empirically-based Software Quality Research and Development (ESQuaReD). Prior to his current position, Dr. Rothermel was an Assistant and then Associate Professorin the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. He was also previously employed as a software engineer,and as Vice President, Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Palette Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of CAD/CAM software.