Microsoft Research is working on a project for dynamic analysis and test generation for .Net-based software development projects.
Pex, for Program EXploration, is an intelligent assistant to a programmer, according to a Microsoft Research Web page. It automatically generates unit tests to help find bugs early and also suggests to how to fix bugs.
The project enables a new development experience in the Microsoft Visual Studio Team System application lifecycle management platform by taking test-driven development to “the next level,” Microsoft Research said.
“From a parameterized unit test, it automatically produces traditional unit tests cases with high code coverage. Moreover, when a generated test fails, Pex can often suggest a bug fix,” Microsoft Research said.
With Pex, a systematic program analysis is performed, with detailed execution traces of existing test cases recorded. The software learns the program behavior from execution traces and a constraint solver produces new test cases with different behavior.
“The result is a minimal test suite with maximal code coverage. When a test fails, Pex uses detailed dataflow information to determine the root cause and a potential bug fix,” Microsoft Research said.
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