"Rotten Green Tests" paper accepted at ICSE

We are happy to announce that our "Rotten Green Tests" paper was accepted for presentation in ICSE'19.

This work is one of the results out of our collaboration with Andrew Black, who was visiting professor last summer from Portland. For those who don't know, ICSE is one of the top conferences on software engineering.

Please find below the abstract and link to the paper in ICSE's program:

Link: https://2019.icse-conferences.org/event/icse-2019-technical-papers-rotten-green-tests

Abstract: Unit tests are a tenant of agile programming methodologies, and are widely used to improve code quality and prevent code regression. A green (passing) test is usually taken as a robust sign that the code under test is valid. However, some green tests contain assertions that are never executed. We call such tests Rotten Green Tests. Rotten Green Tests represent a case worse than a broken test: they report that the code under test is valid, but in fact do not test that validity. We describe an approach to identify rotten green tests by combining simple static and dynamic call-site analyses. Our approach takes into account test helper methods, inherited helpers, and trait compositions, and has been implemented in a tool called DrTest. DrTest reports no false negatives, yet it still reports some false positives due to conditional use or multiple test contexts. Using DrTest we conducted an empirical evaluation of 19,905 real test cases in mature projects of the Pharo ecosystem. The results of the evaluation shows that the tool is effective; it detected 294 tests as rotten – green tests that contain assertions that are not executed. Some rotten tests have been “sleeping” in Pharo for at least 5 years.

Cheers, Julien Delplanque, Stéphane Ducasse, Guillermo Polito, Andrew P. Black, Anne Etien

Posted by admin at 18 December 2018, 3:00 pm link