A Static Code Search Technique to Identify Dead Fields by Analyzing Usage of Setup Fields and Field Dependency in Test Code

Abstract

Dead field is one of the most common test smells found in the test code which is responsible for degrading performance and creating misapprehension about the code. The reason of its occurrences is that in most of the cases, developers initialize setup fields without considering the usage of those fields in the test methods. In this paper, an automatic dead field identification technique is proposed where the test code is statically searched for identifying the usage of all the setup fields. It does so by figuring out all the setup fields which are initialized in the setup method or its invoked methods. After that, it detects such fields which are used by at least one test method directly or indirectly. In addition, field dependency is resolved to find all the fields on which used setup fields depend. At last, all the unused setup fields are gathered and considered as dead fields. To evaluate the technique, it was implemented in the form of a tool and two open source projects were run on it. It has been seen that it identifies all the dead fields in those projects correctly and performs better than existing dead field detection techniques.

Publication
The 3rd International Workshop on Concept Discovery in Unstructured Data (CDUD 2016), 13th International Conference on Concept Lattices and Their Applications
Date