Paolo Tonella,

Evolutionary Testing of Classes


Object oriented programming promotes reuse of classes in multiple contexts. Thus, a class is designed and implemented with several usage scenarios in mind, some of which possibly open and generic. Correspondingly, the unit testing of classes cannot make too strict assumptions on the actual method invocation sequences, since these vary from application to application.

In this paper, a genetic algorithm is exploited to automatically produce test cases for the unit testing of classes in a generic usage scenario. Test cases are described by chromosomes, which include information on which objects to create, which methods to invoke and which values to use as inputs. The proposed algorithm mutates them with the aim of maximizing a given coverage measure. The implementation of the algorithm and its application to classes from the Java standard library are described.

Postscript version of the paper.