An Approach to Regression Testing Selection based on Code Changes and Smells

  • Allan Mori USP
  • Ana C. R. Paiva Universidade do Porto
  • Simone R. S. Souza USP


Regression testing is a software engineering maintenance activity that involves re-executing test cases on a modified software system to check whether code changes introduce new faults. However, it can be time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially for large systems. Regression testing selection techniques can help address this issue by selecting a subset of test cases to run. The change-based technique selects a subset of test cases based on the modified software classes, reducing the test suite size. Thereby, it will cover a smaller number of classes, decreasing the efficiency of the test suite to reveal design flaws. From this perspective, code smells are known to identify poor design and threaten the quality of software systems. In this study, we propose an approach to combine code change and smell to select regression tests and present two new techniques: code smell based and code change and smell. Additionally, we developed the Regression Testing Selection Tool (RTST) to automate the selection process. We empirically evaluated the approach in Defects4J projects by comparing the new techniques’ effectiveness with the change-based as a baseline. The results show that the change-based technique achieves the highest reduction rate in the test suite size but with less class coverage. On the other hand, test cases selected using code smells and changed classes combined can potentially find more bugs. The code smell-based technique provides a comparable class coverage to the code change and smell approach. Our findings highlight the benefits of incorporating code smells in regression testing selection and suggest opportunities for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of regression testing.
Palavras-chave: Change-based Technique, Code Change and Smell Technique, Code Smell, Regression Testing
MORI, Allan; PAIVA, Ana C. R.; SOUZA, Simone R. S.. An Approach to Regression Testing Selection based on Code Changes and Smells. In: SIMPÓSIO BRASILEIRO DE TESTES DE SOFTWARE SISTEMÁTICO E AUTOMATIZADO (SAST), 8. , 2023, Campo Grande/MS. Anais [...]. Porto Alegre: Sociedade Brasileira de Computação, 2023 . p. 25–34.