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PIT Mutation Testing

Quick reference

The maven command to run pitest is:

  • mvn clean test org.pitest:pitest-maven:mutationCoverage


How do we know whether a test suite for a piece of software is any good?

One way is with code coverage testing, but this is of limited use.

  • Test coverage can definitely show you what you are not testing.
  • It isn’t very effective at showing whether you are testing well the things that you are testing.

For that, we have mutation testing. Mutation testing involves:

  • making many copies of the solution (which is assumed to be correct)
  • turning these copies into mutants (copies of the solution with bugs in them)
  • checking to see whether those bugs are caught (are the mutants killed?)

One tool for mutation testing in Java is PIT Test, which is explained at

See also