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    A Testing Strategy for Abstract Classes [Draft]

    Clarke, Peter J. and Power, James F. and Babich, Djuradj and Kingz, Tariq M. (2012) A Testing Strategy for Abstract Classes [Draft]. Software Testing, Verification and Reliability, 22 (3). pp. 147-169. ISSN 1099-1689

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    One of the characteristics of the increasingly widespread use of object-oriented libraries and the resulting intensive use of inheritance is the proliferation of dependencies on abstract classes. Since abstract classes cannot be instantiated, they cannot be tested in isolation using standard execution-based testing strategies. A standard approach to testing abstract classes is to instantiate a concrete descendant class and test the features that are inherited. This paper presents a structured approach that supports the testing of features in abstract classes, paying particular attention to ensuring that the features tested are those defined in the abstract class. Two empirical studies are performed on a suite of large Java programs and the results presented. The first study analyzes the role of abstract classes from a testing perspective. The second study investigates the impact of the testing strategy on the programs in this suite to demonstrate its feasibility and to comment on the pragmatics of its use.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Note: this is a draft of the paper that appears in Software Testing, Verification and Reliability, 22(3):147-169, 2012. DOI:
    Keywords: Testing Strategy; Abstract Classes; Java;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Item ID: 6377
    Depositing User: Dr. James Power
    Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 15:01
    Journal or Publication Title: Software Testing, Verification and Reliability
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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