Coverage criteria for GUI testing

TitleCoverage criteria for GUI testing
Publication TypeConference Papers
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsMemon AM, Soffa M L, Pollack ME
Conference NameProceedings of the 8th European software engineering conference held jointly with 9th ACM SIGSOFT international symposium on Foundations of software engineering
Date Published2001///
Conference LocationNew York, NY, USA
ISBN Number1-58113-390-1
Keywordscomponent testing, event-based coverage, event-flow graph, GUI test coverage, GUI testing, integration tree

A widespread recognition of the usefulness of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) has established their importance as critical components of today's software. GUIs have characteristics different from traditional software, and conventional testing techniques do not directly apply to GUIs. This paper's focus is on coverage critieria for GUIs, important rules that provide an objective measure of test quality. We present new coverage criteria to help determine whether a GUI has been adequately tested. These coverage criteria use events and event sequences to specify a measure of test adequacy. Since the total number of permutations of event sequences in any non-trivial GUI is extremely large, the GUI's hierarchical structure is exploited to identify the important event sequences to be tested. A GUI is decomposed into GUI components, each of which is used as a basic unit of testing. A representation of a GUI component, called an event-flow graph, identifies the interaction of events within a component and intra-component criteria are used to evaluate the adequacy of tests on these events. The hierarchical relationship among components is represented by an integration tree, and inter-component coverage criteria are used to evaluate the adequacy of test sequences that cross components. Algorithms are given to construct event-flow graphs and an integration tree for a given GUI, and to evaluate the coverage of a given test suite with respect to the new coverage criteria. A case study illustrates the usefulness of the coverage report to guide further testing and an important correlation between event-based coverage of a GUI and statement coverage of its software's underlying code.