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Recent Findings in Algorithms Described by C.Y. Mao and Colleagues (Harmony search-based test data generation for branch coverage in software...

August 7, 2014

Recent Findings in Algorithms Described by C.Y. Mao and Colleagues (Harmony search-based test data generation for branch coverage in software structural testing)

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- Fresh data on Algorithms are presented in a new report. According to news reporting out of Nanchang, People's Republic of China, by VerticalNews editors, the research stated, "Test data generation is always a key task in the field of software testing. In recent years, meta-heuristic search techniques have been considered as an effective way to assist test data generation in software structural testing."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research, "In this way, some representative test cases with high-coverage capability can be picked out from program input space. Harmony search (HS) is a recently developed algorithm and has been vigorously applied to various optimization problems. In the paper, we attempt to apply harmony search algorithm to generate test data satisfying branch coverage. At the preprocessing stage, the probes used for gathering coverage information are inserted into all branches via program static analysis. At the same time, the encoding and decoding styles between a test case and a harmony are also determined in advance. At the stage of test data searching, the subset of test data that has much stronger covering ability is stored in harmony memory. During the evolution process, one part of test suite is selected and adjusted from the harmony memory, and the other part is randomly generated from input space. Once a test suite is yielded after one-round search, its coverage can be measured by fitness function in our search algorithm. In our work, a new fitness function for branch coverage is constructed by comprehensively considering branch distance and branch weight. Here, the branch weight is determined by branch information in program, that is, the nesting level of a specific branch and the predicate types in it. Subsequently, the computed coverage metric is used for updating the test suite in the next round of searching. In order to validate the effectiveness of our proposed method, eight well-known programs are used for experimental evaluation. Experimental results show that the coverage of HS-based method is usually higher than those of other search algorithms, such as simulated annealing (SA) and genetic algorithm (GA). Meanwhile, HS demonstrates greater stability than SA and GA when varying the population size or performing repeated trials."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "That is to say, music-inspired HS algorithm is more suitable to generate test data for branch coverage in software structural testing."

For more information on this research see: Harmony search-based test data generation for branch coverage in software structural testing. Neural Computing & Applications, 2014;25(1):199-216. Neural Computing & Applications can be contacted at: Springer, 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. (Springer -; Neural Computing & Applications -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.Y. Mao, Jiangxi Univ Finance & Econ, Sch Software & Commun Engn, Nanchang 330013, People's Republic of China.

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Nanchang, Software, Algorithms, People's Republic of China

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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