Mutation-driven Generation of Oracles and Unit Tests
by Gordon Fraser, Andreas Zeller

IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Pages 278-292, Volume 38, Number 2, March 2012.

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To assess the quality of test suites, mutation analysis seeds artificial defects (mutations) into programs; a nondetected mutation indicates a weakness in the test suite. We 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 toward finding defects modeled by mutation operators rather than covering code. Second, the state change caused by mutations induces oracles that precisely detect the mutants. Evaluated on 10 open source libraries, our ?test prototype generates test suites that find significantly more seeded defects than the original manually written test suites.

BibTeX Entry

    title = "Mutation-driven Generation of Oracles and Unit Tests",
    author = "Gordon Fraser and Andreas Zeller",
    year = "2012",
    month = mar,
    journal = "IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering",
    number = "2",
    pages = "278--292",
    volume = "38",

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