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Most Influential Paper Award for Prof. Lionel Briand

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Published on Thursday, 28 May 2015

Prof. Lionel Briand, Vice-Director of SnT, is the recipient of the “Most Influential Paper of ICSE 2005” award. This award is presented at each ICSE conference 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.), 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 2015. As part of the award, Briand was invited to give a keynote address.

The International Conference on Software Engineering 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 programs 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).