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Reinforcement Learning for Test Case Prioritization

March 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Data Science Distinguished Speaker Seminar Series  

Title: Reinforcement Learning for Test Case Prioritization
Presented by: Dr. Nafiseh Kahani
Format: Online via Zoom

Abstract: Continuous Integration (CI) significantly reduces integration problems, speeds up software development time, and shortens release time. However, it also introduces new challenges for quality assurance activities, including regression testing, which is the focus of this work. Though various approaches for test case prioritization have shown to be very promising in the context of regression testing, specific techniques must be designed to deal with the dynamic nature and timing constraints of CI.

Recently, Reinforcement Learning (RL) has shown great potential in various challenging scenarios that require continuous adaptation, such as game playing, and recommender systems. Inspired by this line of work and building on initial efforts in supporting test case prioritization with RL techniques, we perform a comprehensive investigation of RL-based test case prioritization in a CI context. Our extensive experimental analysis shows that the best RL solutions provide a significant accuracy improvement over previous RL-based work, thus paving the way for using RL to prioritize test cases in a CI context.

About the Speaker: I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering, Carleton University. I obtained my Ph.D. in Computer Science, from Queen’s University, School of Computing, under the supervision of Prof. James Cordy (2020). I received my bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, and my master’s degree in Information Technology.

For my doctoral dissertation, I focused on synthesis of state machine models, I received the 2019 Queen’s School of Computing PhD Research Achievement Award and the IEEE PhD Research Excellence Award. Following my doctorate, I worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at the University of Ottawa, with Prof. Lionel Briand. My research interests are primarily in the area of model-driven development, applications of machine learning in software engineering, software testing, and software security.

Seminar Moderator: Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault, Associate Professor, Critical Media and Big Data, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

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