The generalized test collection problem


The test collection problem, also known as the minimum test set problem or the minimum test cover problem, selects a minimal set of binary attributes by which it is possible to determine the state of a system. This problem commonly arises in applications such as medical diagnosis and fault detection in the design of monitoring systems. We generalize this problem by (i) allowing attributes to obtain arbitrary categorical values; (ii) allowing multiple attributes combinations to represent a single state of a system; and (iii) including a different cost for testing each attribute. The objective of the planer is to select a set of tests at a minimum cost that can determine the state of the system. To address this problem, we present an integer programming model and an effective exact solution method that uses the model’s unique structure to reduce its dimension. Using this method, large instances that could not be solved directly by a commercial solver can easily be solved. Our solution method was implemented and demonstrated to be superior to those described in previous studies when applied on two sets of benchmark instances from the literature. One dataset was adapted from the UCI repository and one was based on a realistic and large-scale sensor placement problem in urban water networks.

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The first author of this paper was supported by a scholarship from the Shlomo Shmeltzer Institute for Smart Transportation at Tel Aviv University. The authors wish to express their gratitude to Professor Lina Sela Perlman, who provided a valuable dataset for their study.

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Correspondence to Tal Raviv.

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Douek-Pinkovich, Y., Ben-Gal, I. & Raviv, T. The generalized test collection problem. TOP (2020).

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  • Test collection problem
  • Sensor selection
  • Sensor placement
  • Water networks
  • Integer linear programming
  • Constraint reduction

Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 90C10
  • 90C27
  • 90C90
  • 90B25