26th ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE 2018), November 4–9, 2018, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA

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Test Automation
Industry Papers
The Impact of Failing, Flaky, and High Failure Tests on the Number of Crash Reports Associated with Firefox Builds
Md Tajmilur Rahman and Peter C. Rigby
(PBSC Urban Solutions, Canada; Concordia University, Canada)
Publisher's Version
Abstract: Testing is an integral part of release engineering and continuous integration. In theory, a failed test on a build indicates a problem that should be fixed and the build should not be released. In practice, tests decay and developers often release builds, ignoring failing tests. In this paper, we studying the link between builds with failing tests and the number of crash reports on the Firefox webbrowser. Builds with all tests passing have a median of only two crash reports. In contrast, builds with one or more failing tests are associated with a median of 508 and 291 crash reports for Beta and Production builds, respectively. We further investigate the impact of ``flaky'' tests, which can both pass and fail on the same build, and find that they have a median of 514 and 234 crash reports for Beta and Production builds. Finally, building on previous research that has shown that tests that have failed frequently in the past will fail frequently in the future, we find that Builds with HighFailureTests have a median of 585 and 780 crash reports for Beta and Production builds. Unlike other types of test failures, HighFailureTests have a larger impact on Production releases than on Beta builds, and they have a median of 2.7 times more crashes than builds with normal test failures. We conclude that ignoring test failures is related to a dramatic increase in the number of crashes reported by users.


Time stamp: 2019-05-22T17:47:17+02:00