ITK/Release 4/Modularization/ Add tests

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The safe assumption behind testing is that "if it is not tested, it is broken".

Non-regression tests

The same way it used to be, except the newer syntax in "add_test" command:

 add_executable(itkBinaryThresholdFilterTest itkBinaryThresholdFilterTest.cxx)

 target_link_libraries(itkBinaryThresholdFilterTest ${ITK-BinaryThreshold_LIBRARIES})
      
 # adopt the modern CMake syntax :[NAME, COMMAND]

 itk_add_test(NAME itkBinaryThresholdFilterTest  
         COMMAND itkBinaryThresholdFilterTest input.png output.png)


Regression tests

Approach A

Using the test driver macro The CMake macro "CreateTestDriver" defined in

 Module/Core/TestKernal/CreateTestDriver.cmake

is designed for grouped regression tests in ITK.

All the tests in one module share one test driver.

  set(ITKFooFilterTests
     itkFooFilterTest1.cxx
     itkFooFilterTest2.cxx)

  CreateTestDriver(ITKFooFilter  "${ITK_FooFilter-Test_LIBRARIES}"  "${ITK-FooFilterTest}")

  itk_add_test(NAME  itkFooFilterTest1
           COMMAND  ITKFooFilterTestDriver  itkFooFilterTest1)
 
  itk_add_test(NAME  itkFooFilterTest2
           COMMAND  ITKFooFilterTestDriver  itkFooFilterTest2)


You can find Approach A used in most of the ITK modules. for example in

   ITK/Modules/IO/BMP/test/CMakeLists.txt

Approach B

Stand-alone regression tests

There is also a test driver executable("itkTestdriver") designed for stand-alone regression tests. For instance, all the tests in Examples are stand-alone programs each has its own main function call, in which case, the approach A is not appropriate.


   add_exectuable(itkFooTest itkFooTest.cxx)

   target_line_libraries( itkFooTest ${ITK_LIBRARIES})

   itk_add_test(NAME  itkFooTest
            COMMAND  itkTestDriver
            --compare  outputBaseline.png output.png
                       '''$<TARGET_FILE:'''itkFooFilterTest'''>''' input.png output.png)


The new syntax

    $<TARGET_FILE: xxx> 

in the add_test command triggers CMake to locate the executable automatically. No need to specify the path for the executable here.

You can find Approach B used in Examples.

For example in

 ITK/Examples/Filtering/test/CMakeLists.txt


Add testing data to ITK

  Please refer to: | Add Data

Writing tests

Unit tests

Writing a unit test helps ensuring that the class being exercised

  • works as expected,
  • works invariably along time,
  • works invariably across different platforms.

It also helps in detecting potential issues, and checking how a given class is affected by changes introduced in the code.

A direct consequence of writing and executing a test is that the code coverage is improved. When writing a unit test you should consider the following principles:

  • Make sure that all methods of the class being tested are exercised.
  • Make sure that if the class is templated, a number of different instances with different arguments are created so that the class is thoroughly tested.
  • Make sure your test returns an EXIT_SUCCESS value when succeeding and an EXIT_FAILURE value when failing.
    • When a test checks multiple features that individually may return either an EXIT_SUCCESS or an EXIT_FAILURE code, make sure that the whole test is run, and return the code in the end. This will help in locating more issues in the same run.
// appropriate include files

int main( int, char *[] )
{
  int testPassStatus = EXIT_SUCCESS;

  //
  // ...
  //

  if( itk::Math::FloatDifferenceULP( floatRepresentationfx1.asFloat, floatRepresentationfx2.asFloat ) != -1 )
    {
    std::cout << "Unexpected float distance." << std::endl;
    testPassStatus = EXIT_FAILURE;
    }
  if( itk::Math::FloatAlmostEqual( floatRepresentationfx1.asFloat, floatRepresentationfx2.asFloat ) )
    {
    std::cout << "floatRepresentationfx1 is almost equal to floatRepresentationfx2\n" << std::endl;
    }
  else
    {
    std::cout << "floatRepresentationfx1 is NOT almost equal to floatRepresentationfx2\n" << std::endl;
    testPassStatus = EXIT_FAILURE;
    }

  return testPassStatus;
}

instead of

// appropriate include files

int main( int, char *[] )
{
  int testPassStatus = EXIT_SUCCESS;

  //
  // ...
  //

  if( itk::Math::FloatDifferenceULP( floatRepresentationfx1.asFloat, floatRepresentationfx2.asFloat ) != -1 )
    {
    std::cout << "Unexpected float distance." << std::endl;
    return EXIT_FAILURE;
    }
  if( itk::Math::FloatAlmostEqual( floatRepresentationfx1.asFloat, floatRepresentationfx2.asFloat ) )
    {
    std::cout << "floatRepresentationfx1 is almost equal to floatRepresentationfx2\n" << std::endl;
    }
  else
    {
    std::cout << "floatRepresentationfx1 is NOT almost equal to floatRepresentationfx2\n" << std::endl;
    return EXIT_FAILURE;
    }

  return testPassStatus;
}
  • When an exception can be thrown by a class, write a condition (in a try/catch block) in the test that is able to reproduce the exception condition.
  • When appropriate, exercise a given method a number of times (with different arguments) so that the method is thoroughly tested.
  • When required, print messages to the standard output (or error output) so that any errors happened can be checked by a human reader.
  • Whenever possible, test against a baseline (ground truth): if an object is not tested against a baseline, we will not know whether it is working as expected, even if its code coverage is 100%.
  • Use the testing macros defined in itkTestingMacros.h. Particularly, make sure that the macro EXERCISE_BASIC_OBJECT_METHODS is called right after the creation of the object whose class is being tested.