Milos Gligoric (PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) will be presenting Regression Testing: Theory and Practice in the Computer Science Seminar series in CS150 at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 2. Everyone is welcome – the abstract is below.
Abstract: Developers often build regression test suites that are automatically run for each code revision to check that code changes did not break any functionality. While regression testing is important, it is also expensive due to both the number of revisions and the number of tests. For example, Google recently reported that they observed a quadratic increase in daily test-suite run time (a linear increase in the number of revisions per day and a linear increase in the number of tests per revision).
In this talk, I present a technique, called Ekstazi, to substantially reduce test-suite run time. Ekstazi introduces a novel approach to regression test selection, which runs only a subset of tests whose dependencies may be affected by the latest changes; Ekstazi keeps file dependencies for each test. Ekstazi also speeds up test-suite runs for software that uses modern distributed version-control systems; by modeling different branch and merge commands directly, Ekstazi computes test sets that can be significantly smaller than the entire test suite. I developed Ekstazi for JVM languages and evaluated it on several hundred revisions of 32 open-source projects (totaling 5M lines of code). Ekstazi can reduce test-suite run time an order of magnitude, including runs for merge revisions. Finally, only a few months after the initial release, Ekstazi was adopted and used daily by many developers from several open-source projects, including Apache Camel, Commons Math, and CXF.