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Using Machine Learning for Fast Test Feedback to Developers

06/06/2022

Using Machine Learning for Fast Test Feedback to Developers

 

Software testing is an intensive process with large runtimes. This leads to practical issues like delays in deployment and increased costs. This is also a large problem for the developers. Long runtimes mean developers will need to familiarize themselves with their code in case of bug detection. This causes long feedback loops. One way to overcome this problem is the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning gives almost instantaneous feedback while the tests are still going on. This way, they help optimize the execution of tests, reduce feedback time, and save resources.

 

Predicting Result at Commit Time

 

Machine learning needs a lot of data to be implemented. Thankfully, software development processes create a huge amount of data. Test execution logs and source control systems especially have a lot of data that can be used for automatic reasoning. Combining this data can help create an annotated set of data for learning. The best part is that no human interaction is necessary as this can be done automatically. 

 

This data can then be used by a machine learning program to predict failure in a given commit. This saves the developer the need to execute tests to find failures in a code. In addition to this, the developers also get the predictions from the program within seconds. The short time frame allows for quick rectification of the code and a reduction in the likelihood of test failure.

 

Test Suite Optimization

 

Another use of machine learning is the optimization of test suites. By using machine learning, we can optimize the execution order of tests. This results in the suite giving out the first error quickly. It can be done by feeding the metadata of a commit into a system and giving out a list of test cases. These cases come with a pass or failure prediction. Each test case reports the result of its previous run. This is done for all the cases which are known to the system. By interpreting the success rates of the previous test run, we can successfully list the test cases by the probability of their failure. 

 

This allows for the sorting of the test suite’s order. We can execute the test cases in order of descending probability of failure. This increases the likelihood of finding failure early in the testing. Stimulating this in real-world applications shows that the run time by doing this reduces the run time by up to 10%. In practical operations, this results in a lesser cost of administrative tasks and a reduction in the number of test machines.

 

Side Benefits

 

The necessary integration of test results and the source control also opens up another useful route to correcting defects for a multi-team. In a multi-team, it can be quite problematic to find the right team to fix the bug. This can result in the juggling of the bug between the teams as no team feels personally responsible for a bug not of their own making.

 

The integration of data results in the creation of change management logs. This is where the information about the bug and their fixes is kept. In most cases, defects arise due to the addition of new tests or modification of previous ones. Change management logs keep track of the teams which were assigned to fix the bug or make changes. 

 

This does not even require machine learning for analysis, merely a couple of queries on the gathered data. Machine learning largely consists of data gathering and preparation, so it only makes sense to look for additional benefits since the effort has already been expended.

 

Key Learnings

 

In all the above uses of machine learning, the most important thing is the quality of data. Over the project, this means changing the way data sources are connected with each other. Especially in large projects where several independent data sources may exist at the same time. To implement machine learning for fast test feedback, it is vital to keep track and ensure the traceability of different data sources. To do this, building an overcharging domain model may be necessary to discover the relationship between the data from different sources. 

 

Scalability is another point of concern. For small stages or experimentation, analysis of scripted data collection with machine learning will work. The problem arises when the production increases. The need for scalability to digest more and more data increases. This also requires the independence of different items to ensure that they do not interfere with one another.

 

Another thing to note is the sources of data in an organization. Often diamonds are close to the surface. Similarly, your organization does not need a data mining expert to implement machine learning for faster feedback. Just a high-level view of the data present is more than enough. Understanding the peculiarities of the data and how it could be connected is the most important thing. This skill is beneficial whether you go for artificial intelligence or machine learning.

 

On the human resources, it may be worth considering the problems with rolling out new technology. So an explanation of the work process and its benefits to the organization would do some good here. Simple use of classical management techniques would do the job.

 

Focaloid for Machine learning

 

Focaloid provides businesses with a way to improve their business process and reduce costs using the implementation of machine learning. At focaloid, we help organizations enhance their productivity, reduce errors and find new opportunities by leveraging the capabilities of machine learning. Our experts actively try to understand your needs and provide solutions that are scalable and intelligent. Take charge of your software development and reduce deployment time by providing faster feedback using our machine learning solutions.

 

Conclusion

 

Avoiding irrelevant testing can take minutes or even hours during the development cycle. Faster feedback can easily remedy that and save hundreds of hours of work for developers. It’d mean a lesser waiting and a better experience for the developers and faster deployment, and lesser cost for the business. A win-win for both the parties. The use of machine learning for predictive test selection actively does that and reduces feedback time. Thus cementing itself as a game-changer for software development cycles. 

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