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Invariant-Based Automatic Testing of AJAX User Interfaces
Presenter : Ali Mesbah
Abstract : AJAX-based Web 2.0 applications rely on asynchronous communication, a stateful client, and client-side run-time manipulation of the DOM tree. This not only makes them fundamentally different from traditional web applications, but also more error-prone and harder to test. We propose a method for testing AJAX applications automatically. It is based on a crawler to infer a flow graph for all (client-side) user interface states. We identify AJAX specific faults that can occur in such states (related to DOM validity, error messages, discoverability, back-button compatibility, etc.) as well as DOM-tree invariants that serve as oracle to detect such faults. We implemented our approach in ATUSA, a tool offering generic invariant checking components, a plugin-mechanism to add application-specific state validators, and generation of a test suite covering the paths obtained during crawling. We describe two studies evaluating the fault revealing capabilities, scalability, manual effort and level of automation of our approach.
Does Distributed Development Affect Software Quality? An Empirical Case Study of Windows Vista
Presenter : Christian Bird
Abstract : It is believed that distributed software development is more challenging than collocated development. Literature on distributed development in software engineering discusses various challenges, including cultural barriers, expertise transfer difficulties, and communication and coordination overhead. We evaluate this belief by examining the development of Windows Vista and comparing the failures of components that were developed in a distributed fashion with those developed by collocated teams. We found a negligible difference in failures. This difference becomes even less significant when controlling for the number of developers working on a binary. We also examine component characteristics such as code churn, complexity, dependency information, and test coverage to investigate if less complex components are distributed and find little difference between distributed and collocated components. Further, we examine the software process used during the Vista development cycle and present ways in which the development process utilized may be insensitive to geography by mitigating issues.
Asserting and Checking Determinism for Multithreaded Programs
Presenter : Koushik Sen
Abstract : The trend towards processors with more and more parallel cores is increasing the need for software that
can take advantage of parallelism. The most widespread method for writing parallel software is to use explicit threads. Writing
correct multithreaded programs, however, has proven to be quite challenging in practice. The key difficulty is non-determinism.
The threads of a parallel application may be interleaved non-deterministically during execution. In a buggy program, non-deterministic
scheduling will lead to non-deterministic results---some interleavings will produce the correct result while others will not.
DARWIN: An Approach for Debugging Evolving Programs
Presenter : Kapil Vaswani
Abstract : Debugging refers to the laborious process of finding causes of program failures. Often, such failures are introduced when a program undergoes changes and evolves from a stable version to a new, modified version. In this paper, we propose an automated approach for debugging evolving programs. Given two programs (a reference, stable program and a new, modified program) and an input that fails on the modified program, our approach uses concrete as well as symbolic execution to synthesize new inputs that differ marginally from the failing input in their control flow behavior. A comparison of the execution traces of the failing input and the new inputs provides critical clues to the root-cause of the failure. A notable feature of our approach is that it handles hard-to-explain bugs like code missing errors by pointing to the relevant code in the reference program. We have implemented our approach in a tool called DARWIN. We have conducted experiments with several real-life case studies, including real-world web servers and the libPNG library for manipulating PNG images. Our experience from these experiments points to the efficacy of DARWIN in pinpointing bugs. Moreover, while localizing a given observable error, the new inputs synthesized by DARWIN can reveal other undiscovered errors.
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