Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

Heather Crawford

Second Advisor

John Deaton

Third Advisor

Cem Kaner

Fourth Advisor

Keith Gallagher


Are existing software testing technologies satisfying the needs of mobile software testing practitioners? This dissertation provides evidence that the existing technologies fall short of practitioner’s actual needs and analyzes some reasons why this is so. The first contribution presents a framework for analyzing the software testing needs of practitioners, which is then used to assess the existing software testing tools and body of research, revealing significant gaps. The second contribution proposes a vision for a new software testing technology for mobile apps, which is then applied to a real-world problem causing problems for software testing practitioners (namely, the verification of GUI layouts on diverse mobile devices). The third contribution presents a detailed, ecosystem-independent approach for implementing this new solution. The fourth contribution applies this generic implementation to Android, exposes missing infrastructure within Android, and presents first steps toward a solution. Finally, this dissertation discusses the ramifications of lessons learned during this work and a variety of paths for further research.


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