Automated Replay and Failure Detection for Web Applications

Author : Sprenkle, Sara; Gibson, Emily; Sampath, Sreedevi; Pollock, Lori
Booktitle : International Conference of Automated Software Engineering
Date : Nov 2005
Publisher : IEEE/ACM
Pages : 253–262
Keyword(s) : replay, oracle, web application, testing, automatic
Document Type : In Conference Proceedings

Abstract :

User-session-based testing of web applications gathers user sessions to create and continually update test suites based on real user input in the field. To support this approach during maintenance and beta testing phases, we have built an automated framework for testing web-based software that focuses on scalability and evolving the test suite automatically as the application’s operational profile changes. This paper reports on the automation of the replay and oracle components for web applications, which pose issues beyond those in the equivalent testing steps for traditional, stand-alone applications. Concurrency, non-determinism, dependence on persistent state and previous user sessions, a complex application infrastructure, and a large number of output formats necessitate developing different replay and oracle comparator operators, which have tradeoffs in fault detection effectiveness, precision of analysis, and efficiency. We have designed, implemented, and evaluated a set of automated replay techniques and oracle comparators for user-session-based testing of web applications. This paper describes the issues, algorithms, heuristics, and an experimental case study with user sessions for two web applications. From our results, we conclude that testers performing user-session-based testing should consider their expectations for program coverage and fault detection when choosing a replay and oracle technique.

Paper Link

Presentation Link