Most Influential Paper Award for Prof. Lionel Briand

Prof Lionel Briand, Vice-Director of SnT and FNR PEARL Chair, is the recipient of the “Most Influential Paper of ICSE 2005” Award.

FNR PEARL Chair Prof Lionel Briand (2nd from right)

This award is presented at each International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) to the authors of the paper considered most influential over the previous 10 years since its original publication.

For his paper entitled “Is Mutation an Appropriate Tool for Testing Experiments?”, together with co-author Jamie Andrews (Google Inc.), Prof. Briand received the prestigious award at ICSE 2015, the 37th International Conference on Software Engineering which was held in Florence, Italy, from 16 to 24 May. As part of the award, Prof. Briand was invited to give a keynote address.

(The) ICSE is the premier software engineering conference, providing a forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, experiences and concerns in the field of software engineering.

In their 2005 paper, the team pointed out that the empirical assessment of software testing methods plays an important role in software testing research. One common practice is to instrument faults, either manually or by using mutation operators. The latter allows the systematic, repeatable seeding of large numbers of faults. Before their investigation, however, it was not known whether empirical results obtained this way led to valid, representative conclusions.

The paper investigated this important question based on a number of programmes with comprehensive pools of test cases and known faults. It was concluded that, based on the data available, the use of mutation operators yields trustworthy results (generated mutants are similar to real faults).

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