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Mutation-Driven Generation of Oracles and Unit Tests

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Executive Summary

To assess the quality of test suites, mutation analysis seeds artificial defects (mutations) into programs; a non-detected mutation indicates a weakness in the test suite. The authors present an automated approach to generate unit tests that detect these mutations for object-oriented classes. This has two advantages: First, the resulting test suite is optimized towards finding defects rather than covering code. Second, the state change caused by mutations induces oracles that precisely detect the mutants. Evaluated on 10 open source libraries, their TEST prototype generates test suites that find significantly more seeded defects than the original manually written test suites.

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