Test-Algebra-Based Fault Location Analysis for the Concurrent Combinatorial Testing

Guanqiu Qi, Wei Tek Tsai, Charles Colbourn, Jie Luo, Zhiqin Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A new algebraic system, test algebra (TA), is proposed for identifying faults in combinatorial testing for software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. In the context of cloud computing, SaaS is a new software delivery model, in which mission-critical applications are composed, deployed, and executed on cloud platforms. Testing SaaS applications is challenging because new applications need to be tested once they are composed, and prior to their deployment. A composition of components providing services yields a configuration providing an SaaS application. While individual components in the configuration may have been thoroughly tested, faults still arise due to interactions among the components composed, making the configuration faulty. When there are k components, combinatorial testing algorithms can be used to identify faulty interactions with t or fewer components, for some threshold 2 ≤t ≤q k on the size of interactions considered. In general, these methods do not identify specific faults, but rather indicate the presence or absence of some faults. To identify specific faults, an adaptive testing regime repeatedly constructs and tests configurations in order to determine, for each interaction of interest, whether it is faulty or not. In order to perform such testing in a loosely coupled distributed environment such as the cloud, it is imperative that testing results can be combined from many different servers. The TA defines rules to permit results to be combined, and to identify the faulty interactions. Using the TA, configurations can be tested concurrently on different servers and in any order. The TA always keeps the high reduction rate of potential faulty configurations in fault location analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8398472
Pages (from-to)802-831
Number of pages30
JournalIEEE Transactions on Reliability
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Algebra
  • cloud computing
  • combinatorial testing (CT)
  • fault location analysis
  • software-as-a-service (SaaS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Test-Algebra-Based Fault Location Analysis for the Concurrent Combinatorial Testing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this