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Test Quality Feedback Improving Effectivity and Efficiency of Unit Testing

Abstract : Writing unit tests for a software system enhances the confidence that a system works as expected. Since time pressure often prevents a complete testing of all application details developers need to know which new tests the system requires. Developers also need to know which existing tests take the most time and slow down the whole development process. Missing feedback about less tested functionality and reasons for long running test cases make it, however, harder to create a test suite that covers all important parts of a software system in a minimum of time. As a result a software system may be inadequately tested and developers may test less frequently. Our approach provides test quality feedback to guide developers in identifying missing tests and correcting low-quality tests. We provide developers with a tool that analyzes test suites with respect to their effectivity (e.g., missing tests) and efficiency (e.g., time and memory consumption). We implement our approach, named PathMap, as an extended test runner within the Squeak Smalltalk IDE and demonstrate its benefits by improving the test quality of representative software systems.
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Michael Perscheid, Damien Cassou, Robert Hirschfeld. Test Quality Feedback Improving Effectivity and Efficiency of Unit Testing. C5'12: Conference on Creating, Connecting and Collaborating through Computing, Jan 2012, Playa Vista, California, United States. ⟨10.1109/C5.2012.7⟩. ⟨hal-01118969⟩

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