Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Automatic test procedures for apps on smartphones and tablets

01.03.2013
For many so-called apps, developers and companies have not adequately ensured that the mini-programs are actually working the way they should.
Therefore, computer scientists at Saarland University developed software which tests apps for the Android operating system automatically. From March 5th at the computer expo Cebit in Hannover, the researchers will present how they discover failures even in popular and widespread apps by using their method. A robot arm will click itself through arbitrary apps to find their failures (hall 9, booth F34).

Every day, Google’s smartphone operating system Android is installed on more than 1.3 million mobile terminals. After that, countless mini-programs are added from the Google Play Store onto the smartphones. However, not every app is working at 100 percent.
"It's kind of sad that Google Play needs to have a ‘15 minute refund period’ due to the lack of quality control in their app store", a New Zealand developer already wrote last year on Twitter. An analyst even described Android as the “wild West of the apps”. The computer scientists in Saarbrücken want to bring law and order into this wilderness. “Unfortunately, apps are that complex that it's costly in terms of time and also very tough to detect most of the programming errors”, explains Konrad Jamrozik, doctoral candidate at the chair of Software Engineering at Saarland University in Saarbrücken.

In collaboration with his research colleague Florian Gross and professor Andreas Zeller, he developed software named “Droidmate” which tests Android apps automatically. “From now on, developers shall produce working apps with a maximum of guarantee and a minimum of effort by using Droidmate”, says Jamrozik. To achieve this, Droidmate simulates the user for the apps which need to be tested. It carries out all possible operation steps, including pressing of virtual keys, and even swiping over the touch-sensitive display is planned in the near future.
In doing so, Droidmate takes advantage of novel methods. Besides graphical user interface construction, genetic algorithms are also counted among those methods. “They work quite similarly to biological evolution. Many test cases are produced arbitrarily. In the next step, those which appear useful get selected. Now, the system modifies them a little and combines them with each other to create a new generation of user input”, explains Florian Gross. This generation and the following one also undergo a process of selection and new combination. By using a special optimizing technique, the researchers guarantee that every program code is tested as far as possible. Revealed failures are passed on to the developer.

In addition to the testing, Jamrozik discovers another application of Droidmate: to put a stop to apps that are spying on user data. Plus, it could be extended to define failure patterns in faulty apps and to continue to use them immediately for the testing of similar apps. "The ability to thoroughly explore interactions with an app can also serve as a basis for automatic generation of documentation of the application", explains Jamrozik.
The prototype already works for established apps with simplified algorithms. Now, the researchers are going to present them at the Cebit. They will be supported by a robot arm, which will operate apps on a tablet PC. But this is only a show for the expo visitors. The software doesn’t need an arm, just the particular app for the input.

Computer Science at Saarland University
The Computer Science Department is just one of several institutes on Saarland University’s campus devoted to research in computer science. In its direct vicinity are located the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems, the Center for Bioinformatics, the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability, the recently renewed Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction”, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), and the Intel Visual Computing Institute.

For further information please contact:

Konrad Jamrozik
Chair for Software Engineering at Saarland University
Mail: jamrozik@st.cs.uni-saarland.de
Phone: +49 681 302-70978
Florian Gross
Chair for Engineering at Saarland University
Mail: fgross@st.cs.uni-saarland.de
Phone: +49 681 302-70143

Editing:
Gordon Bolduan
Science Communication
Cluster of Excellence “Multimodal Computing and Interaction”
Phone: +49 681 302-70741
Cebit booth: +49 511 8949-7024
E-Mail: bolduan@mmci.uni-saarland.de

Friederike Meyer zu Tittingdorf | Universität des Saarlandes
Further information:
http://droidmate.org/
http://www.uni-saarland.de/pressefotos

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht COMPAMED 2016 connected medical devices and people
23.11.2016 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik

nachricht Successfully transferring Industrie 4.0 into reality
21.11.2016 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>