Abstract: Search-based test generation is guided by feedback from one or more fitness
functions - scoring functions that judge solution optimality. Choosing
informative fitness functions is crucial to meeting the goals of a tester.
Unfortunately, many goals - such as forcing the class-under-test to throw
exceptions, increasing test suite diversity, and attaining Strong Mutation
Coverage - do not have effective fitness function formulations. We propose that
meeting such goals requires treating fitness function identification as a
secondary optimization step. An adaptive algorithm that can vary the selection
of fitness functions could adjust its selection throughout the generation
process to maximize goal attainment, based on the current population of test
suites. To test this hypothesis, we have implemented two reinforcement learning
algorithms in the EvoSuite unit test generation framework, and used these
algorithms to dynamically set the fitness functions used during generation for
the three goals identified above.
We have evaluated our framework, EvoSuiteFIT, on a set of real Java case
examples. EvoSuiteFIT techniques attain significant improvements for two of the
three goals, and show small improvements on the third when the number of
generations of evolution is fixed. Additionally, for all goals, EvoSuiteFIT
detects faults missed by the other techniques. The ability to adjust fitness
functions allows EvoSuiteFIT to make strategic choices that efficiently produce
more effective test suites, and examining its choices offers insight into how
to attain our testing goals. We find that AFFS is a powerful technique to apply
when an effective fitness function does not already exist for generating tests
to achieve a testing goal.