Ratchet : a prototype change-impact analysis tool with dynamic test selection for C++ code
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Understanding the impact of changes made daily by development teams working on large-scale software products is a challenge faced by many organizations nowadays. Development efficiency can be severely affected by the increase in fragility that can creep in as products evolve and become more complex. Processes, such as gated check-in mechanisms, can be put in place to detect problematic changes before submission, but are usually limited in effectiveness due to their reliance on statically-defined sets of tests. Traditional change-impact analysis techniques can be combined with information gathered at run-time in order to create a system that can select tests for change verification. This report provides the high-level architecture of a system, named Ratchet, that combines static analysis of C++ programs, enabled by the reuse of the Clang compiler frontend, and code-coverage information gathered from automated test runs, in order to automatically select and schedule tests that exercise functions and methods possibly affected by the change. Prototype implementations of the static-analysis components of the system are provided, along with a basic evaluation of their capabilities through synthetic examples.