Arcuri, Andrea (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Writing software is a difficult and expensive task. Its automation is hence very valuable. Search algorithms have been successfully used to tackle many software engineering problems. Unfortunately, for some problems the traditional techniques have been of only limited scope, and search algorithms have not been used yet. We hence propose a novel framework that is based on a co-evolution of programs and test cases to tackle these difficult problems. This framework can be used to tackle software engineering tasks such as Automatic Refinement, Fault Correction and Improving Non-functional Criteria. These tasks are very difficult, and their automation in literature has been limited. To get a better understanding of how search algorithms work, there is the need of a theoretical foundation. That would help to get better insight of search based software engineering. We provide first theoretical analyses for search based software testing, which is one of the main components of our co-evolutionary framework. This thesis gives the important contribution of presenting a novel framework, and we then study its application to three difficult software engineering problems. In this thesis we also give the important contribution of defining a first theoretical foundation.
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