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Exploring Code Coverage in Software Testing and its Correlation with Software Quality; A Systematic Literature Review

By Joy W. Hollén and Patrick S. Zacarias


As the world around us is increasingly becoming defined by software and the size and complexity of the software systems increases, as well as our dependance on them, it becomes all the more important that the software is thoroughly tested in an attempt to guarantee high reliability. In order to measure the thoroughness of testing, code coverage is often applied as an attempt at measuring the software testing. The paper aims to explore how code coverage is correlated with software quality and reliability. The paper also examines what code coverage actually is and how the state-of-the-art suggests the usage of code coverage for optimal result. Through a Systematic Literature Review, with a holistic approach, the paper concludes that code coverage and software reliability are not directly correlated, but possibly indirectly with a varying correlation factor. When it comes to recommended code coverage practices and optimal use, the literature strongly argues for not having code coverage as an absolute goal of the testing, instead using it to evaluate the test suite and find its flaws so that it can be improved

Year: 2015
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