AuthorsA. Arcuri and X. Yao
TitleCo-Evolutionary Automatic Programming for Software Development
AfilliationSoftware Engineering, Software Engineering
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
JournalInformation Sciences

Since the 1970s the goal of generating programs in an automatic way (i.e., Automatic Pro gramming) has been sought. A user would just define what he expects from the program (i.e., the requirements), and it should be automatically generated by the computer without the help of any programmer. Unfortunately, this task is much harder than expected. Al though transformation methods are usually employed to address this problem, they cannot be employed if the gap between the specification and the actual implementation is too wide. In this paper we introduce a novel conceptual framework for evolving programs from their specification. We use genetic programming to evolve the programs, and at the same time we exploit the specification to co-evolve sets of unit tests. Programs are rewarded by how many tests they do not fail, whereas the unit tests are rewarded by how many programs they make to fail. We present and analyse seven different problems on which this novel technique is successfully applied.