Programming Languages in Haskell

Support for EECS 662 at KU


Testing ABE

Let’s fire up QuickCheck and see what we have. Remember that all AE programs famously ran to termination and produced a value. Will the same thing hold true for ABE programs? I suspect you can easily figure the answer, but let’s follow a rigorous process to see why. The process will be useful to us when our languages become more complex.

Term Generator

We need to extend the generator from the Testing chapter to generate ABE elements. Like our parser we simply need to define generators for the new AST elements and add them to the original generator.

Generating Boolean values is identical to generating Num values except we use choose to select among True and False:

genBool =
  do t <- choose (True,False)
     return (Boolean t)

Generators for the remaining operators are identical to what we did for Plus and Minus. Specifically, generate the arguments and put them together:

genAnd n =
  do s <- genABE n
     t <- genABE n
     return (And s t)

genLeq n =
  do s <- genABE n
     t <- genABE n
     return (Leq s t)

genIsZero n =
  do s <- genABE n
     return (IsZero s)

genIf n =
  do s <- genABE n
     t <- genABE n
     u <- genABE n
     return (If s t u)

Remember that the argument n is our size counter that will force the generator to terminate when the new ABE structure reaches a specified size.

Now genABE for generating complete terms:

genABE :: Int -> Gen ABE
genABE 0 =
  do term <- oneof [genNum,genBool]
     return term
genABE n =
  do term <- oneof [genNum,(genPlus (n-1))
                   ,(genMinus (n-1))
                   ,(genAnd (n-1))
                   ,(genLeq (n-1))
                   ,(genIsZero (n-1))
                   ,(genIf (n-1))]
     return term

Note what’s going on here. For the base case, we use oneof to generate either a number or a boolean. For the recursive case, we simply add generators for new terms to the argment to oneof adding them to the ABE generator. That’s it. We’re done.


Our testing functions are identical to those for AE with AE changed to ABE. Literally, that’s all there is to it:

testParser :: Int -> IO ()
testParser n = quickCheckWith stdArgs {maxSuccess=n}
  (\t -> parseABE (pprint t) == t)

testEval :: Int -> IO ()
testEval n = quickCheckWith stdArgs {maxSuccess=n}
  (\t -> (interp $ pprint t) == (eval t))

Now we’re ready to go.

Initial Tests

Using the testParser function we’ll first test 1000 random ABE terms:

testParser 1000
+++ OK, passed 1000 tests.

So far, so good. The ABE parser passes 1000 tests of arbitrary structures.

Using the testEval function we’ll now test 1000 random ABE terms:

 testEval 1000
*** Failed! (after 2 tests):
  /Users/alex/Documents/Research/books/plih/sources/haskell/abe.hs:123:23-40: Irrefutable pattern failed for pattern (Main.Num v)
IsZero (Boolean False)

This result tells us that the eval function fails after 2 tests. Specifically, the term IsZero (Boolean False) cases eval to fail without generating a value. It should be clear why. IsZero expects a number yet it is called on a Boolean value. IsZero (Boolean False) is a counterexample for the test and gives us a direction to follow.[^1]