Statistical Unit Tests with ensure4j

As part of another project I am developing ensure4j. The syntax (see the examples here) is working quite nicely, ensure4j is already very useful for internal use.

Lately I was busy adding tests that are able to verify if some code (e.g. an optimizer that uses random, like genetic algorithm, simulated annealing, …) produces the desired in e.g. 95% of the cases (Wikipedia has a nice practical example for confidence intervals).

Example Usage

Here is an example that tests the nonsense code Math.random() * 2.

The code most likely does not make much sense out of context like this, so here is an explanation of what it does:

Explanation

In that example we want to verify that the code returns values whose 95% confidence interval is between 0.9 and 1.1. At first take 10 samples to verify this. If the mean is not as expected between the interval, there is still the chance that this was just bad luck. We can take further samples (up to 1000) to rule bad luck out. When we have to take more than 1000 samples and the mean is still not in the specified still not met, there is a very high probability that the code does not produce the desired result, so we have to fail.

I hope the above description is somewhat understandable. It’s no piece of cake, and there is no way to cheat around the complexity involved with that kind of statistical tests. I have tried to make the interface as clean and simple as possible, suggestions are always welcome.

Open Source?

I am developing ensure4j partly at work, and partly in my free time. I would like to make it open source, but I need to get the OK from my boss first.

ensure4j is the the only implementation I know of that uses statistical tests that can be used with JUnit. If you know something similar than this, please post!

1 Comment on "Statistical Unit Tests with ensure4j"

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Daniel
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Thanks for the comment you left over Daily Blog Tips, you have a very nice blog as well. I like the clean design, Regulus is a good theme.

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