An Improved Crow Search Algorithm for Test Data Generation Using Search-Based Mutation Testing


Automation of test data generation is of prime importance in software testing because of the high cost and time incurred in manual testing. This paper proposes an Improved Crow Search Algorithm (ICSA) to automate the generation of test suites using the concept of mutation testing by simulating the intelligent behaviour of crows and Cauchy distribution. The Crow Search Algorithm suffers from the problem of search solutions getting trapped into the local search. The ICSA attempts to enhance the exploration capabilities of the metaheuristic algorithm by utilizing the concept of Cauchy random number. The concept of Mutation Sensitivity Testing has been used for defining the fitness function for the search based approach. The fitness function used, aids in finding optimal test suite which can achieve high detection score for the Program Under Test. The empirical evaluation of the proposed approach with other popular meta-heuristics, prove the effectiveness of ICSA for test suite generation using the concepts of mutation testing.

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Function: Area of a triangle; Let the Original Program = bh/2; and Mutated Programme = (b + h)/2

Step 1: Initialize the test cases and memory.

Let the initial test cases be T = \( \left[ \begin{aligned} 2\,\,\,\,3 \hfill \\ 4\,\,\,\,6 \hfill \\ 8\,\,\,\,\,9 \hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] \); let the memory be randomly allocated as M = \( \left[ \begin{aligned} 9\,\,\,6 \hfill \\ 2\,\,\,\,8 \hfill \\ 4\,\,\,\,\,3 \hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] \)

Step 2: Evaluate the fitness function

$$ {\text{Relative}}\;{\text{error}} = \left[ \begin{aligned} 0. 7 2 2\hfill \\ 0. 3 7 5\, \hfill \\ 0. 4 1 6\hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

Step 3: Based on the principle of CSA the new position of test case is generated from memory and original position according to the following formula.

New position of each test case = original position +0.5*flight length*|(memory-original position)|.

Now flight length is adjusted such that fl is less than 1. Let fl = 0.5

$$ {\text{The}}\;{\text{new}}\;{\text{position}}\;{\text{is}}\;{\text{given}}\;{\text{as}} = \left[ \begin{aligned} 3\,\,\,\,\,3 \hfill \\ 4\,\,\,\,6 \hfill \\ 4\,\,\,\,2 \hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

Step 4: The fitness function of new position is evaluated

$$ {\text{Relative}}\;{\text{error}} = \left[ \begin{aligned} 0. 3 2 5\hfill \\ 0. 1 6 6\hfill \\ 0. 2 5 5\hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

It is found that there is no much improvement in the relative error when (3) is compared to (1). This shows that when flight length is less than one, search solutions are restricted to local area. When the flight length is greater than one, search will be a purely global one.

Step 5: When the Cauchy operator is applied to the initial position the following result occurs. The Cauchy random number for the each of the test cases is obtained from the inverse of the Cauchy distribution equation: equation \( F(x) = 1/2 + 1/\pi \arctan (x/t) \), t > 0

$$ {\text{The}}\;{\text{Cauchy}}\;{\text{random}}\;{\text{number}}\;{\text{for}}\;{\text{each}}\;{\text{of}}\;{\text{the}}\;{\text{test}}\;{\text{case}}\;{\text{is}}\;{\text{C}} = \left[ \begin{aligned} 12.82\,\,\,\,8.75 \hfill \\ 6.77\,\,\,\,\,\,4.88 \hfill \\ 4.00\,\,\,\,\,\,\,3.72 \hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

Step 6: Replace the value of flight length with the Cauchy random number and calculate the new position and fitness function.

The new position we obtained after applying Cauchy random number is given as

$$ \left[ \begin{aligned} 44\,\,\,\,15 \hfill \\ 2\,\,\,\,\,\,\,10 \hfill \\ 16\,\,\,\,\,\,3 \hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

The fitness function is calculated for the new positions (5) is given as

$$ {\text{Relative}}\;{\text{error}} = \left[ \begin{aligned} 0. 9 1 1\hfill \\ 0. 4\hfill \\ 0. 6 0 4\hfill \\ \end{aligned} \right] $$

The test cases obtained after using the Cauchy random number shows that the search yields better results. The fitness function of the new position is found to be better than the memorized position. The matrix shown by Eq. (6) is found to be better than that shown in (3). The test cases which generated the better fitness function is considered to be optimal one. The process is carried out till the highest relative error is obtained or till the termination criteria is met.

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Jatana, N., Suri, B. An Improved Crow Search Algorithm for Test Data Generation Using Search-Based Mutation Testing. Neural Process Lett (2020).

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  • Improved Crow Search Algorithm
  • Cauchy random number
  • Mutation sensitivity testing
  • Mothra mutation operators