Incorporating Design Knowledge into Genetic Algorithm-based White-Box Software Test Case Generators

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Virginia Tech

This thesis shows how to incorporate Unified Modeling Language sequence diagrams into genetic algorithm-based automated test case generators to increase the code coverage of their resulting test cases. Automated generation of test data through evolutionary testing was proven feasible in prior research studies. In those previous investigations, the metrics used for determining the test generation method effectiveness were the percentages of testing statement and branch code coverage achieved. However, the code coverage realized in those preceding studies often converged at suboptimal percentages due to a lack of guidance in conditional statements. This study compares the coverage percentages of 16 different Java programs when test cases are automatically generated with and without incorporating associated UML sequence diagrams. It introduces a tool known as the Evolutionary Test Case Generator, or ETCG, an automatic test case generator based on genetic algorithms that provides the ability to incorporate sequence diagrams to direct the heuristic search process and facilitate evolutionary testing. When the generator uses sequence diagrams, the resulting test cases showed an average improvement of 21% in branch coverage and 8% in statement coverage over test cases produced without using sequence diagrams.

genetic algorithms, evolutionary computation, evolutionary testing, software testing