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Evolution and evaluation of testing and code search techniques in contemporary software development

Abstract

Contemporary development techniques such as Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) bring several improvements to software development, such as more cohesive, less coupled, and more legible code. However, such techniques can also bring obstacles, such as new types of faults that did not occur with the use of traditional techniques. Moreover, even though these techniques can bring improvements to software development, there are still ways to make contemporary software more reliable and less costly to produce. With respect to quality improvement, some researchers have recently proposed a family of structural testing criteria -- called multi-point stride coverage (MPSC) --, which generalizes branch coverage to coverage of tuples of branches taken from the execution sequence of a program. Initial evaluation indicate that the criteria are effective comparable to data-flow coverage, usually regarded as one of the most effective (although costly). Such family of criteria was not yet explored in the context of AOP, which opens a novel and important research niche, given that AO programs also contain conditionals. With respect to reducing development costs, our research group has recently developed a prototype tool that implements an automated program repair approach via code search. The basic idea is to look for code similar to faulty regions of the program -- detected via test cases --, and replace these regions with correct implementations. Although preliminary evaluation indicates the effectiveness of the tool, there are still several ways to improve and further evaluate it. Another recent technique proposed by our group in the same context and not yet adequately evaluated is an automatic query expansion approach using thesauri. The goal of this research project is to evolve and adequately evaluate testing and code search techniques in these and other related topics to improve contemporary software development. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
LAZZARINI LEMOS, OTAVIO AUGUSTO; SILVEIRA, FABIO FAGUNDES; FERRARI, FABIANO CUTIGI; GARCIA, ALESSANDRO. The impact of Software Testing education on code reliability: An empirical assessment. JOURNAL OF SYSTEMS AND SOFTWARE, v. 137, p. 497-511, MAR 2018. Web of Science Citations: 1.

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