Testing of Android testing tools: development of a benchmark for the evaluation

Javaid, Tahir (2015). Testing of Android testing tools: development of a benchmark for the evaluation. Thesis (Master thesis), E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM).


Title: Testing of Android testing tools: development of a benchmark for the evaluation
  • Javaid, Tahir
  • Imbert Paredes, Ricardo
  • Gorla, Alessandra
Item Type: Thesis (Master thesis)
Masters title: Ingeniería del Software
Date: July 2015
Faculty: E.T.S. de Ingenieros Informáticos (UPM)
Department: Lenguajes y Sistemas Informáticos e Ingeniería del Software
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works

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With the ever growing trend of smart phones and tablets, Android is becoming more and more popular everyday. With more than one billion active users i to date, Android is the leading technology in smart phone arena. In addition to that, Android also runs on Android TV, Android smart watches and cars. Therefore, in recent years, Android applications have become one of the major development sectors in software industry. As of mid 2013, the number of published applications on Google Play had exceeded one million and the cumulative number of downloads was more than 50 billionii. A 2013 survey also revealed that 71% of the mobile application developers work on developing Android applicationsiii. Considering this size of Android applications, it is quite evident that people rely on these applications on a daily basis for the completion of simple tasks like keeping track of weather to rather complex tasks like managing one’s bank accounts. Hence, like every other kind of code, Android code also needs to be verified in order to work properly and achieve a certain confidence level. Because of the gigantic size of the number of applications, it becomes really hard to manually test Android applications specially when it has to be verified for various versions of the OS and also, various device configurations such as different screen sizes and different hardware availability. Hence, recently there has been a lot of work on developing different testing methods for Android applications in Computer Science fraternity. The model of Android attracts researchers because of its open source nature. It makes the whole research model more streamlined when the code for both, application and the platform are readily available to analyze. And hence, there has been a great deal of research in testing and static analysis of Android applications. A great deal of this research has been focused on the input test generation for Android applications. Hence, there are a several testing tools available now, which focus on automatic generation of test cases for Android applications. These tools differ with one another on the basis of their strategies and heuristics used for this generation of test cases. But there is still very little work done on the comparison of these testing tools and the strategies they use. Recently, some research work has been carried outiv in this regard that compared the performance of various available tools with respect to their respective code coverage, fault detection, ability to work on multiple platforms and their ease of use. It was done, by running these tools on a total of 60 real world Android applications. The results of this research showed that although effective, these strategies being used by the tools, also face limitations and hence, have room for improvement. The purpose of this thesis is to extend this research into a more specific and attribute-­‐ oriented way. Attributes refer to the tasks that can be completed using the Android platform. It can be anything ranging from a basic system call for receiving an SMS to more complex tasks like sending the user to another application from the current one. The idea is to develop a benchmark for Android testing tools, which is based on the performance related to these attributes. This will allow the comparison of these tools with respect to these attributes. For example, if there is an application that plays some audio file, will the testing tool be able to generate a test input that will warrant the execution of this audio file? Using multiple applications using different attributes, it can be visualized that which testing tool is more useful for which kinds of attributes. In this thesis, it was decided that 9 attributes covering the basic nature of tasks, will be targeted for the assessment of three testing tools. Later this can be done for much more attributes to compare even more testing tools. The aim of this work is to show that this approach is effective and can be used on a much larger scale. One of the flagship features of this work, which also differentiates it with the previous work, is that the applications used, are all specially made for this research. The reason for doing that is to analyze just that specific attribute in isolation, which the application is focused on, and not allow the tool to get bottlenecked by something trivial, which is not the main attribute under testing. This means 9 applications, each focused on one specific attribute. The main contributions of this thesis are: A summary of the three existing testing tools and their respective techniques for automatic test input generation of Android Applications. • A detailed study of the usage of these testing tools using the 9 applications specially designed and developed for this study. • The analysis of the obtained results of the study carried out. And a comparison of the performance of the selected tools.

More information

Item ID: 36898
DC Identifier: https://oa.upm.es/36898/
OAI Identifier: oai:oa.upm.es:36898
Deposited by: Biblioteca Facultad de Informatica
Deposited on: 15 Jul 2015 08:52
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2016 10:07
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