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Automatic software generation and improvement through search based techniques

Arcuri, Andrea (2009)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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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.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Yao, Xin (1962-)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Computer Science
Subjects:QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
QA76 Computer software
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:400
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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