Automating GUI testing for android applications

Cuixiong Hu, Iulian Neamtiu

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

215 Scopus citations


Users increasingly rely on mobile applications for computational needs. Google Android is a popular mobile platform, hence the reliability of Android applications is becoming increasingly important. Many Android correctness issues, however, fall outside the scope of traditional verification techniques, as they are due to the novelty of the platform and its GUI-oriented application construction paradigm. In this paper we present an approach for automating the testing process for Android applications, with a focus on GUI bugs. We first conduct a bug mining study to understand the nature and frequency of bugs affecting Android applications; our study finds that GUI bugs are quite numerous. Next, we present techniques for detecting GUI bugs by automatic generation of test cases, feeding the application random events, instrumenting the VM, producing log/trace files and analyzing them post-run. We show how these techniques helped to re-discover existing bugs and find new bugs, and how they could be used to prevent certain bug categories. We believe our study and techniques have the potential to help developers increase the quality of Android applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAST'11 - Proceedings of the 6th International Workshop on Automation of Software Test, Co-located with ICSE 2011
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Workshop on Automation of Software Test, AST 2011, Co-located with ICSE 2011 - Waikiki, Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: May 22 2011May 23 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257


Other6th International Workshop on Automation of Software Test, AST 2011, Co-located with ICSE 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikiki, Honolulu, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software


  • empirical bug studies
  • google android
  • gui testing
  • mobile applications
  • test automation
  • test case generation


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