Cover starters for covering arrays of strength two

Jason R. Lobb, Charles Colbourn, Peter Danziger, Brett Stevens, Jose Torres-Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


A cover starter is a single vector that yields a covering array under the actions of groups on both the columns and the symbols of the starter. The existence of this compact representation of covering arrays facilitates effective exhaustive and heuristic search. When the group action on symbols fixes a small number f of symbols, such cover starters lead to covering arrays that embed covering arrays on fewer symbols. Lower bounds on the length of cover starters over specified groups are established, and extensive computational results are developed to improve upper bounds for numerous covering array numbers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)943-956
Number of pages14
JournalDiscrete Mathematics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 6 2012



  • Cover starter
  • Covering array
  • Interaction testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics

Cite this

Lobb, J. R., Colbourn, C., Danziger, P., Stevens, B., & Torres-Jimenez, J. (2012). Cover starters for covering arrays of strength two. Discrete Mathematics, 312(5), 943-956.