Aplib: Tactical Agents for Testing Computer Games
Modern interactive software, such as computer games, employ complex user interfaces. Although these user interfaces make the games attractive and powerful, unfortunately they also make them extremely difficult to test. Not only do we have to deal with their functional complexity, but also the fine grained interactivity of their user interface blows up their interaction space, so that traditional
automated testing techniques have trouble handling it. An agent-based testing approach offers an alternative solution: agents’ goal driven planning, adaptivity, and reasoning ability can provide an extra edge towards effective navigation in complex interaction space. This paper presents aplib, a Java library for programming intelligent test agents, featuring novel tactical programming as an abstract way to exert control over agents’ underlying reasoning-based behavior. This type of control is suitable for programming testing tasks. Aplib is implemented in such a way to provide the fluency of a Domain Specific Language (DSL). Its embedded DSL approach also means that aplib programmers will get all the advantages that Java programmers get: rich language features and a whole array of development tools.