Transferring an automated test generation tool to practice: From Pex to Fakes and Code Digger

Nikolai Tillmann, Jonathan De Halleux, Tao Xie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Producing industry impacts has been an important, yet challenging task for the research community. In this paper, we report experiences on successful technology transfer of Pex and its relatives (tools derived from or associated with Pex) from Microsoft Research and lessons learned from more than eight years of research efforts by the Pex team in collaboration with academia. Moles, a tool associated with Pex, was shipped as Fakes with Visual Studio since August 2012, benefiting a huge user base of Visual Studio around the world. The number of download counts of Pex and its lightweight version called Code Digger has reached tens of thousands within one or two years. Pex4Fun (derived from Pex), an educational gaming website released since June 2010, has achieved high educational impacts, reflected by the number of clicks of the "Ask Pex!" button (indicating the attempts made by users to solve games in Pex4Fun) as over 1.5 million till July 2014. Evolved from Pex4Fun, the Code Hunt website has been used in a very large programming competition. In this paper, we discuss the technology background, tool overview, impacts, project timeline, and lessons learned from the project. We hope that our reported experiences can inspire more high-impact technology-transfer research from the research community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationASE 2014 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages385-396
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781450330138
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event29th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, ASE 2014 - Vasteras, Sweden
Duration: Sep 15 2014Sep 19 2014

Publication series

NameASE 2014 - Proceedings of the 29th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering

Other

Other29th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, ASE 2014
Country/TerritorySweden
CityVasteras
Period9/15/149/19/14

Keywords

  • Symbolic execution
  • Technology transfer
  • Testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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