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An experiment on the effectiveness and efficiency of exploratory testing
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. (IS (Embedded Systems))ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0611-2655
Blekinge Institute of Technolog.
Aalto University, Espoo, Finland.
Chalmers University of Technology.
Show others and affiliations
2015 (English)In: Journal of Empirical Software Engineering, ISSN 1382-3256, E-ISSN 1573-7616, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 844-878Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The exploratory testing (ET) approach is commonly applied in industry, but lacks scientific research. The scientific community needs quantitative results on the performance of ET taken from realistic experimental settings. The objective of this paper is to quantify the effectiveness and efficiency of ET vs. testing with documented test cases (test case based testing, TCT). We performed four controlled experiments where a total of 24 practitioners and 46 students performed manual functional testing using ET and TCT. We measured the number of identified defects in the 90-minute testing sessions, the detection difficulty, severity and types of the detected defects, and the number of false defect reports. The results show that ET found a significantly greater number of defects. ET also found significantly more defects of varying levels of difficulty, types and severity levels. However, the two testing approaches did not differ significantly in terms of the number of false defect reports submitted. We conclude that ET was more efficient than TCT in our experiment. ET was also more effective than TCT when detection difficulty, type of defects and severity levels are considered. The two approaches are comparable when it comes to the number of false defect reports submitted.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 20, no 3, p. 844-878
National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer and Information Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25175DOI: 10.1007/s10664-014-9301-4ISI: 000354480800008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84929522541OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25175DiVA, id: diva2:721946
Available from: 2014-06-05 Created: 2014-06-05 Last updated: 2018-01-26Bibliographically approved

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Afzal, Wasif

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf