Conceptualization and evaluation of component-based testing unified with visual GUI testing: An empirical study
Paper i proceeding, 2015

In this paper we present the results of a two-phase empirical study where we evaluate and compare the applicability of automated component-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) testing and Visual GUI Testing (VGT) in the tools GUITAR and a prototype tool we refer to as VGT GUITAR. First, GUI mutation operators are defined to create 18 faulty versions of an application on which both tools are then applied in an experiment. Results from 456 test case executions in each tool show, with statistical significance, that the component-based approach reports more false negatives than VGT for acceptance tests but that the VGT approach reports more false positives for system tests. Second, a case study is performed with larger open source applications, ranging from 8,803-55,006 lines of code. Results show that GUITAR is applicable in practice but has some challenges related to GUI component states. The results also show that VGT GUITAR is currently not applicable in practice and therefore requires further research and development. Based on the study's results we present areas of future work for both test approaches and conclude that the approaches have different benefits and drawbacks. The component-based approach is robust and executes tests faster than the VGT approach, with a factor of 3. However, the VGT approach can perform visual assertions and is perceived more flexible than the component- based approach. These conclusions let us hypothesize that a combination of the two approaches is the most suitable in practice and therefore warrants future research.

Visual GUI Testing

Component-based testing


Test automation

GUI Testing


Emil Alégroth

Chalmers, Data- och informationsteknik, Software Engineering

Z. Gao

University of Maryland

R. Oliveira

Universidade de Sao Paulo - USP

A. Memon

University of Maryland

2015 IEEE 8th International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation, ICST 2015 - Proceedings

2159-4848 (ISSN)