CS598TX: Advanced Topics in Software Testing, Analysis, and Analytics


CS598TX (Advanced Topics in Software Testing, Analysis, and Analytics) is an advanced topics course whose content varies from one offering to another.

This course will be a graduate seminar on dynamic and static program analysis along with analytic technologies (such as machine learning and data mining) for finding software faults, with an emphasis on research methodologies on carrying out high-quality research in software testing, analysis, and analytics. A 2002 NIST report estimates that software faults cost the U.S. economy $59.5 billion annually and that improving testing infrastructure could save $22.2 billion.  We will discuss research methodologies on conducting research on techniques and tools that could significantly reduce this cost. The focus will be on discussing students' course projects and the process of conducting research in the course projects.

Course Organization

Students will get familiar with the technical results as well as with the process of doing research in software testing and analysis. The aim is to involve students in projects in this field. For students who choose to work on research projects, the aim is to help students start research in this field or apply its results in their ongoing research projects. The course readings will include classic papers and current state-of-the-art work on either research results or research methodologies. Students will read papers ahead of time, discuss papers in the class-discussion forum, participate in in-class discussions, lead in-class discussions, and do a project individually (including presenting milestone project results and writing a final project report). 

Meeting Time: Tu/Th 12:30pm - 1:45pm

Meeting Location: 1131 Siebel Center

Instructor: Tao Xie


Students should have basic knowledge of software engineering and programming languages. If you are not sure whether you can attend this course, please consult the instructor (NetID: taoxie).

Text Book

No textbook is required or used in this course.


Grades will be based on final project report, milestone project presentations, participation (forum and in-class participation/discussion). 

In particular, 

  • Final Project Report [40%]
  • Milestone Project Presentations/Submissions + Leading In-Class Presentation/Discussion [30%]
  • Forum Participation [15%]
  • In-class Participation/Discussion [15%]


You will be signed up by the instructor in the Piazza discussion forum for this class. After you make a post (either as an individual post or a follow-up discussion post for another student's post) for an assigned paper/reading in the Piazza forum, please mark the date of your post for your name's entry in a Google spreadsheet whose URL is linked inside the Piazza forum. When you make multiple posts for the assigned paper/reading, please mark the date of your first post.

In particular, after you read the assigned paper/reading, please make at least one post at the discussion forum (as a new followup discussion) under the entry that the instructor creates for the assigned reading. Note that there is no due date for your forum post for the assigned reading (of course, your forum post should be before the last lecture of this semester in order to be considered for grading). However, we expect your forum post to be made before or when we move on to the forum discussion of the next assigned reading. In the end, both the quality and timeliness of your forum posts are taken into account when grading your forum discussion.

Project-Report Submission

Before the stated due time, your final project report should be emailed to the instructor (NetID: taoxie) with "cs598tx project report" in the subject line and the report attached as a PDF file.