Test input generation with Java PathFinder: Then and Now
The paper, “Test Input Generation With Java PathFinder” was published in the International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis (ISSTA) 2004 Proceedings, and has now been selected to receive the ISSTA 2018 Retrospective Impact Paper Award. The paper proposes black-box and white-box techniques for the automated testing of software systems. These techniques are based on model checking and symbolic execution and have been incorporated in the Java PathFinder analysis tool. The main contribution of the paper is to show how to perform efficient test input generation for code manipulating complex data that takes into account complex method preconditions.
In this talk we review the original paper and we discuss the research that has happened between then (2004) and now (2018) in the context of the Java PathFinder tool, its symbolic execution component that is now called Symbolic PathFinder, and closely related approaches that target testing of software that manipulates complex data structures. We close with directions for future work.