GenUTest: A unit test and mock aspect generation tool

Benny Pasternak, Shmuel Tyszberowicz*, Amiram Yehudai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Unit testing plays a major role in the software development process. What started as an ad hoc approach is becoming a common practice among developers. It enables the immediate detection of bugs introduced into a unit whenever code changes occur. Hence, unit tests provide a safety net of regression tests and validation tests which encourage developers to refactor existing code with greater confidence. One of the major corner stones of the agile development approach is unit testing. Agile methods require all software classes to have unit tests that can be executed by an automated unit-testing framework. However, not all software systems have unit tests. When changes to such software are needed, writing unit tests from scratch, which is hard and tedious, might not be cost effective. In this paper we propose a technique which automatically generates unit tests for software that does not have such tests. We have implemented GenUTest, a prototype tool which captures and logs interobject interactions occurring during the execution of Java programs, using the aspect-oriented language AspectJ. These interactions are used to generate JUnit tests. They also serve in generating mock aspects - mock object-like entities, which enable testing units in isolation. The generated JUnit tests and mock aspects are independent of the tool, and can be used by developers to perform unit tests on the software. Comprehensiveness of the unit tests depends on the software execution. We applied GenUTest to several open source projects such as NanoXML and JODE. We present the results, explain the limitations of the tool, and point out direction to future work to improve the code coverage provided by GenUTest and its scalability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-290
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


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