A metamorphic testing approach for supporting program repair without the need for a test oracle

Jiang, Mingyue and Chen, Tsong Yueh and Kuo, Fei-Ching and Towey, Dave and Ding, Zuohua (2016) A metamorphic testing approach for supporting program repair without the need for a test oracle. Journal of Systems and Software, 126 . pp. 127-140. ISSN 1873-1228

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Abstract

Test suite based automated program repair (APR) relies on a test oracle to determine the execution result of individual test cases. The applicability of APR techniques, therefore, is limited by the fact that test oracles may not exist. Metamorphic Testing (MT) is a testing approach that, rather than checking the correctness of individual test outputs, checks testing results through verification of relations among multiple test cases and their outputs: MT can therefore be applied without test oracles. This paper presents an integration of MT with APR that enables application of APR without the need for a test oracle. Two important issues for this integration which have been thoroughly investigated and addressed are: (1) feasibility — which is addressed by proposing a framework to support the integration, and then presenting MT-GenProg, a tool incorporating MT with the popular APR technique GenProg; and (2) effectiveness — which is confirmed through an empirical study of GenProg and MT-GenProg on 1,143 program versions from the IntroClass benchmark suite, demonstrating MT-GenProg’s comparable performance to GenProg, in terms of repair effectiveness. We conclude that the proposed integration is both practically feasible and effective, and thus successfully extends APR techniques to a broader application domain.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Test suite based automated program repair; Test oracle; Metamorphic testing
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham Ningbo China > Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Computer Science
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.04.002
Depositing User: LIN, Zhiren
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 10:44
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 10:51
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/47491

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