Enhancing Search-based Testing with Testability Transformations for Existing APIs
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Search-based software testing (SBST) has been shown to be an effective technique to generate test cases automatically. Its effectiveness strongly depends on the guidance of the fitness function. Unfortunately, a common issue in SBST is the so-called flag problem, where the fitness landscape presents a plateau that provides no guidance to the search. In this paper, we provide a series of novel testability transformations aimed at providing guidance in the context of commonly used API calls (e.g., strings that need to be converted into valid date/time objects). We also provide specific transformations aimed at helping the testing of REST Web Services. We implemented our novel techniques as an extension to EvoMaster, a SBST tool that generates system level test cases. Experiments on nine open-source REST web services, as well as an industrial web service, show that our novel techniques improve performance significantly.