Finding fault with fault injection: An Empirical Exploration of Distortion in Fault Injection Experiments

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Abstract

It has become well established that software will never become bug free, which has spurred research in mechanisms to contain faults and recover from them. Since such mechanisms deal with faults, fault injection is necessary to evaluate their effectiveness. However, little thought has been put into the question whether fault injection experiments faithfully represent the fault model designed by the user. Correspondence with the fault model is crucial to be able to draw strong and general conclusions from experimental results. The aim of this paper is twofold: to make a case for carefully evaluating whether activated faults match the fault model and to gain a better understanding of which parameters affect the deviation of the activated faults from the fault model. To achieve the latter, we instrumented a number of programs with our LLVM-based fault injection framework. We investigated the biases introduced by limited coverage, parts of the program executed more often than others and the nature of the workload. We evaluated the key factors that cause activated faults to deviate from the model and from these results provide recommendations on how to reduce such deviations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSoftware Quality Journal (SQJ)
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Nov 2014

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