Mutation Operators for Spreadsheets

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Executive Summary

Based on research into mutation testing for general-purpose programming languages and spreadsheet errors that have been reported in the literature, the authors have developed a suite of mutation operators for spreadsheets. They present an evaluation of the mutation adequacy of definition-use adequate test suites generated by a constraint-based automatic test-case generation system the authors have developed in previous work. The results of the evaluation suggest additional constraints that can be incorporated into the system to target mutation adequacy. In addition to being useful in mutation testing of spreadsheets, the operators can be used in the evaluation of error-detection tools and also for seeding spreadsheets with errors for empirical studies.

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