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A Study on the Relation between Antipatterns and the Cost of Class Unit Testing

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4 Author(s)
Sabane, A. ; DGIGL, Ecole Polytech. de Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada ; Di Penta, M. ; Antoniol, G. ; Gueheneuc, Y.

Antipatterns are known as recurring, poor design choices, recent and past studies indicated that they negatively affect software systems in terms of understand ability and maintainability, also increasing change-and defect-proneness. For this reason, refactoring actions are often suggested. In this paper, we investigate a different side-effect of antipatterns, which is their effect on testability and on testing cost in particular. We consider as (upper bound) indicator of testing cost the number of test cases that satisfy the minimal data member usage matrix (MaDUM) criterion proposed by Bashir and Goel. A study-carried out on four Java programs, Ant 1.8.3, ArgoUML 0.20, Check Style 4.0, and JFreeChart 1.0.13-supports the evidence that, on the one hand, antipatterns unit testing requires, on average, a number of test cases substantially higher than unit testing for non-antipattern classes. On the other hand, antipattern classes must be carefully tested because they are more defect-prone than other classes. Finally, we illustrate how specific refactoring actions-applied to classes participating in antipatterns-could reduce testing cost.

Published in:

Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR), 2013 17th European Conference on

Date of Conference:

5-8 March 2013

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