ReAssert: Suggesting Repairs for Broken Unit Tests

TitleReAssert: Suggesting Repairs for Broken Unit Tests
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsDaniel, B., V. Jagannath, D. Dig, and D. Marinov
Conference Name2009 24th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE)
Pagination433 - 444
Date Published11/2009
Conference LocationAuckland, New Zealand
ISBN Number978-1-4244-5259-0

Developers often change software in ways that cause tests to fail. When this occurs, developers must determine whether failures are caused by errors in the code under test or in the test code itself. In the latter case, developers must repair failing tests or remove them from the test suite. Repairing tests is time consuming but beneficial, since removing tests reduces a test suite's ability to detect regressions. Fortunately, simple program transformations can repair many failing tests automatically. We present ReAssert, a novel technique and tool that suggests repairs to failing tests' code which cause the tests to pass. Examples include replacing literal values in tests, changing assertion methods, or replacing one assertion with several. If the developer chooses to apply the repairs, ReAssert modifies the code automatically. Our experiments show that ReAssert can repair many common test failures and that its suggested repairs correspond to developers' expectations.