A snowballing literature study on test amplification

Benjamin Danglot*, Oscar Vera-Perez, Zhongxing Yu, Andy Zaidman, Martin Monperrus, Benoit Baudry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The adoption of agile approaches has put an increased emphasis on testing, resulting in extensive test suites. These suites include a large number of tests, in which developers embed knowledge about meaningful input data and expected properties as oracles. This article surveys works that exploit this knowledge to enhance manually written tests with respect to an engineering goal (e.g., improve coverage or refine fault localization). While these works rely on various techniques and address various goals, we believe they form an emerging and coherent field of research, which we coin “test amplification”. We devised a first set of papers from DBLP, searching for all papers containing “test” and “amplification” in their title. We reviewed the 70 papers in this set and selected the 4 papers that fit the definition of test amplification. We use them as the seeds for our snowballing study, and systematically followed the citation graph. This study is the first that draws a comprehensive picture of the different engineering goals proposed in the literature for test amplification. We believe that this survey will help researchers and practitioners entering this new field to understand more quickly and more deeply the intuitions, concepts and techniques used for test amplification.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110398
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Automatic testing
  • Test amplification
  • Test augmentation
  • Test optimization
  • Test regeneration


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