An improved memetic algorithm with method dependence relations (MAMDR)

Ali Aburas, Alex Groce

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Search-based approaches are successfully used for generating unit tests for object-oriented programs in Java. However, these approaches may struggle to generate sequence method calls with specific values to achieve high coverage due to the large size of the search space. This paper proposes a memetic algorithm (MA) approach in which static analysis is used to identify method dependence relations (MDR) based on the field access. This method dependence information is employed for reducing the search space and used to guide the search towards regions that lead to full (or at least high) structural coverage. Our approach, MAMDR, combines both a genetic algorithm (GA) and Hill Climbing (HC) to generate test data for Java programs. The former is used to produce test cases that maximize the branch coverage of the CUT, while minimizing the length of each test case. The latter is used to target uncovered branches in the preceding search phase using static information that guides the search to generate sequences of method calls and values that could cover target branches. We compare MAMDR with pure random testing, a well-known search based approach (EvoSuite), and a simple MA on several open source projects and classes, and show that the combination of MA and MDR is effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - International Conference on Quality Software
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781479971978
StatePublished - Nov 14 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event14th International Conference on Quality Software, QSIC 2014 - Dallas, United States
Duration: Oct 2 2014Oct 3 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Quality Software
ISSN (Print)1550-6002


Conference14th International Conference on Quality Software, QSIC 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Memetic Algorithms
  • Object-Oriented
  • Search Based Software Testing
  • Search Space Reduction
  • Static Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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