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Differential coverage: automating coverage analysis

by   Henry Cox, et al.

While it is easy to automate coverage data collection, it is a time consuming/difficult/expensive manual process to analyze the data so that it can be acted upon. Complexity arises from numerous sources, of which untested or poorly tested legacy code and third-party libraries are two of the most common. Differential coverage and date binning are methods of combining coverage data and project/file history to determine if goals have been met and to identify areas of code which should be prioritized. These methods can be applied to any coverage metric which can be associated with a location – statement, function, expression, toggle, etc. – and to any language, including both software (C++, Python, etc.) and hardware description languages (SystemVerilog, VHDL). The goal of these approaches is to reduce the cost and the barrier to entry of using coverage data analysis in large-scale projects. The approach is realized in gendiffcov, a recently released open-source tool.


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