MuJava : An Automated Class Mutation System

Software Testing, Verification and Reliability, June 2005, 15(2):97-133.

Yu-Seung Ma, Jeff Offutt and Yong Rae Kwon


Several module and class testing techniques have been applied to object-oriented programs, but researchers have only recently begun developing test criteria that evaluate the use of key OO features such as inheritance, polymorphism, and encapsulation. Mutation testing is a powerful testing technique for generating software tests and evaluating the quality of software. However, the cost of mutation testing has traditionally been so high it cannot be applied without full automated tool support. This paper presents a method to reduce the execution cost of mutation testing for OO programs by using two key technologies, Mutant Schemata Generation (MSG) and reflection. This method adapts the existing MSG method for mutants that change the program behavior and uses load-time structural reflection for mutants that change the program structure. A key advantage is in performance: only two compilations are required and both the compilation and execution time for each is greatly reduced. A mutation tool based on the MSG/reflection method has been built and used to measure the speedup over the separate compilation approach. Experimental results show that the MSG/reflection method is about five times faster than separate compilation.

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