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Automatic testing of sequential and concurrent substitutability

Pradel, Michael and Gross, Thomas R. (2013):
Automatic testing of sequential and concurrent substitutability.
In: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Software Engineering, IEEE Press, San Francisco, CA, USA, In: ICSE '13, ISBN 978-1-4673-3076-3,
DOI: 10.1109/ICSE.2013.6606574,
[Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Languages with inheritance and polymorphism assume that a subclass instance can substitute a superclass instance without causing behavioral differences for clients of the superclass. However, programmers may accidentally create subclasses that are semantically incompatible with their superclasses. Such subclasses lead to bugs, because a programmer may assign a subclass instance to a superclass reference. This paper presents an automatic testing technique to reveal subclasses that cannot safely substitute their superclasses. The key idea is to generate generic tests that analyze the behavior of both the subclass and its superclass. If using the subclass leads to behavior that cannot occur with the superclass, the analysis reports a warning. We find a high percentage of widely used Java classes, including classes from JBoss, Eclipse, and Apache Commons Collections, to be unsafe substitutes for their superclasses: 30% of these classes lead to crashes, and even more have other behavioral differences.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2013
Creators: Pradel, Michael and Gross, Thomas R.
Title: Automatic testing of sequential and concurrent substitutability
Language: German
Abstract:

Languages with inheritance and polymorphism assume that a subclass instance can substitute a superclass instance without causing behavioral differences for clients of the superclass. However, programmers may accidentally create subclasses that are semantically incompatible with their superclasses. Such subclasses lead to bugs, because a programmer may assign a subclass instance to a superclass reference. This paper presents an automatic testing technique to reveal subclasses that cannot safely substitute their superclasses. The key idea is to generate generic tests that analyze the behavior of both the subclass and its superclass. If using the subclass leads to behavior that cannot occur with the superclass, the analysis reports a warning. We find a high percentage of widely used Java classes, including classes from JBoss, Eclipse, and Apache Commons Collections, to be unsafe substitutes for their superclasses: 30% of these classes lead to crashes, and even more have other behavioral differences.

Title of Book: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Software Engineering
Series Name: ICSE '13
Publisher: IEEE Press
ISBN: 978-1-4673-3076-3
Uncontrolled Keywords: Generators, Runtime, Computer bugs, Java, Programming, Libraries
Divisions: Profile Areas > Cybersecurity (CYSEC)
Profile Areas
Event Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2017 12:58
DOI: 10.1109/ICSE.2013.6606574
Identification Number: TUD-CS-2013-0482
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