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Evaluating the Effectiveness of Large Language Models for Generating Text Inputs in Android GUI Testing


Core Concepts
Large Language Models (LLMs) can generate text inputs to support Android GUI testing, but their effectiveness varies significantly across different LLM models.
Abstract
This paper reports on a large-scale empirical study that extensively investigates the effectiveness of nine state-of-the-art LLMs in generating text inputs for Android UI pages. The key findings are: Among the LLMs evaluated, the GPT and GLM series (except for GLM-4V) can generate the most effective text inputs, achieving a 50.58% to 66.67% page-pass-through rate. Other LLMs like Spark and GLM-4V perform significantly worse. Using more complete UI contextual information (component, adjacent, and global context) can increase the page-pass-through rates of LLMs for generating text inputs. Removing some context reduces the effectiveness by around 7%. Compared to GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, the page-pass-through rates of other LLMs have significant decreases, ranging from 17.97% to 84.79% and 21.93% to 85.53% lower, respectively. The consistency between the generated text inputs and the UI page context is positively correlated with the page-pass-through rates. The GPT and GLM series (except GLM-4V) have the highest consistency rates. The user study shows that testers have high expectations for using LLMs to support Android testing, and the LLM-generated text inputs can detect real bugs in open-source apps. The study provides six key insights on how to effectively use LLMs for Android testing, which will benefit the Android testing community.
Stats
The page-pass-through rate of GPT-4 is 66.67%. The page-pass-through rate of GPT-3.5 is 63.45%. The page-pass-through rate of GLM-4 is 52.05%. The page-pass-through rate of GLM-3 is 50.58%. The page-pass-through rate of LLaMa2-13B is 44.74%. The page-pass-through rate of LLaMa2-7B is 43.86%. The page-pass-through rate of Baichuan2 is 29.53%. The page-pass-through rate of Spark is 29.53%. The page-pass-through rate of GLM-4V is 9.65%.
Quotes
"Among all LLMs, the GPT and GLM series (except for GLM-4V) can generate the most effective text inputs. Spark and GLM-4V perform the worst on the same testing tasks." "More complete UI contextual information can guide LLMs to generate better text inputs. The effectiveness is reduced by approximately 7% when the prompt lacks some information about the component context or the adjacent context." "Compared with GPT-3.5 and GPT-4, the page-pass-through rates of other LLMs have significant decreases, of 17.97% to 84.79% and 21.93% to 85.53%, respectively."

Deeper Inquiries

How can the effectiveness of LLMs for Android GUI testing be further improved, beyond the techniques explored in this study?

In order to further improve the effectiveness of Large Language Models (LLMs) for Android GUI testing, several strategies can be considered: Fine-tuning LLMs: Fine-tuning the LLMs specifically for the task of generating text inputs for Android GUI testing can help improve their performance. By training the models on a dataset that is more tailored to the context and requirements of mobile applications, the LLMs can generate more accurate and contextually relevant text inputs. Hybrid Approaches: Combining LLMs with other techniques, such as rule-based systems or domain-specific knowledge, can enhance the effectiveness of text input generation. By leveraging the strengths of different approaches, a hybrid model can provide more accurate and reliable results. Contextual Understanding: Enhancing the LLMs' ability to understand and interpret the context of the UI pages more accurately can lead to better text input generation. This can involve incorporating more detailed contextual information, such as user interactions, UI components, and application logic, into the prompts provided to the LLMs. Feedback Mechanisms: Implementing feedback mechanisms that allow for iterative improvement of the LLMs based on the generated text inputs' performance can help refine the models over time. By analyzing the results and incorporating feedback from the testing process, the LLMs can learn and adapt to generate more effective text inputs. Domain-Specific Training: Training the LLMs on a dataset that is specific to the domain of mobile applications and GUI testing can improve their understanding of the unique requirements and challenges in this context. By focusing on domain-specific training, the LLMs can better capture the nuances of text input generation for mobile GUIs.

How might the insights from this study on using LLMs for Android testing apply to other software testing domains, such as web or desktop application testing?

The insights gained from using Large Language Models (LLMs) for Android testing can be applied to other software testing domains, such as web or desktop application testing, in the following ways: Contextual Understanding: The importance of providing detailed contextual information to LLMs for generating text inputs can be applied across different testing domains. By ensuring that the prompts given to the LLMs contain relevant context about the application under test, the models can generate more accurate and contextually relevant inputs, regardless of the platform. Fine-tuning and Training: The concept of fine-tuning LLMs and training them on domain-specific datasets can be applied to web or desktop application testing as well. By customizing the training data and prompts to suit the specific requirements of the testing domain, the LLMs can be optimized for generating text inputs in a more effective manner. Hybrid Approaches: The idea of combining LLMs with other testing techniques, such as rule-based systems or domain-specific knowledge, can be beneficial in web or desktop application testing. By integrating LLMs with existing testing frameworks and methodologies, testers can leverage the strengths of different approaches to enhance the overall testing process. Feedback Mechanisms: Implementing feedback mechanisms to iteratively improve the performance of LLMs based on testing results can be valuable in various software testing domains. By analyzing the generated text inputs and incorporating feedback from the testing process, testers can refine the LLMs and enhance their effectiveness in generating inputs for different types of applications. Overall, the insights from using LLMs for Android testing can serve as a foundation for exploring the application of these models in other software testing domains, with adaptations made to suit the specific requirements and characteristics of each domain.

What are the potential security and privacy implications of using LLMs for Android testing, especially when dealing with sensitive user or app data?

When using Large Language Models (LLMs) for Android testing, especially in scenarios involving sensitive user or app data, there are several potential security and privacy implications to consider: Data Privacy: LLMs require access to a significant amount of data to train and generate text inputs. If this data includes sensitive user information or confidential app data, there is a risk of privacy breaches. It is essential to ensure that the data used for training the LLMs is anonymized and does not contain any personally identifiable information. Data Security: LLMs may inadvertently generate text inputs that expose vulnerabilities in the application, such as sensitive API endpoints or authentication mechanisms. Testers need to be cautious when using LLM-generated inputs to avoid unintentionally exposing security risks in the application under test. Model Bias: LLMs have been known to exhibit biases based on the data they are trained on. If the training data contains biases related to sensitive topics or demographics, the LLMs may generate text inputs that perpetuate these biases, leading to potential discrimination or privacy concerns. Third-Party Risks: If LLMs are provided by third-party organizations or APIs, there is a risk of data exposure to external entities. Testers should carefully review the terms of service and privacy policies of the LLM providers to ensure that sensitive data is not shared or stored inappropriately. Compliance: When using LLMs for Android testing, testers must ensure compliance with data protection regulations, such as GDPR or CCPA. Any data collected, processed, or stored during the testing process must adhere to the relevant privacy laws and regulations to protect user and app data. By addressing these security and privacy considerations and implementing appropriate safeguards, testers can mitigate the risks associated with using LLMs for Android testing and ensure the protection of sensitive data during the testing process.
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