Survey on test data generation tools

An evaluation of white- and gray-box testing tools for C#, C++, Eiffel, and Java
  • Stefan J. Galler
  • Bernhard K. Aichernig
Regular Paper


Automating the process of software testing is a very popular research topic and of real interest to industry. Test automation can take part on different levels, e.g., test execution, test case generation, test data generation. This survey gives an overview of state-of-the art test data generation tools, either academic or commercial. The survey focuses on white- and gray-box techniques. The list of existing tools was filtered with respect to their public availability, their maturity, and activity. The remaining seven tools, i.e., AgitarOne, CodePro AnalytiX, AutoTest, C++test, Jtest, RANDOOP, and PEX, are briefly introduced and their evaluation results are summarized. For the evaluation we defined 31 benchmark tests, which check the tools capabilities to generate test data that satisfies a given specification: 24 primitive type benchmarks and 7 non-primitive type and more complex with respect to the specification benchmarks. Most of the commercial tools implement a test data strategy that uses constant values found in the method under test or values that are slightly modified by means of mathematical operations. This strategy turns out to be very effective. In general, all tools that combine multiple techniques perform very well. For example PEX uses constraint solving techniques, but in cases where the constraint solver reaches its limitations it uses random based techniques to overcome those limitations. Especially, the two commercial tools AgitarOne and PEX that combine multiple approaches to test data generation are able to pass all 31 tests. This survey reflects the status in 2011.


Test data generation Tool evaluation Java C++ C# Eiffel 



The authors wish to thank the anonymous referees for their detailed and constructive feedback in order to improve the paper. The research herein is partially conducted within the competence network Softnet Austria ( and funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economics (bm:wa), the province of Styria, the Steirische Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH (SFG), and the city of Vienna in terms of the center for innovation and technology (ZIT).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graz University of TechnologyGrazAustria

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