A Survey of Context Simulation for Testing Mobile Context-Aware Applications
ACM Computing Surveys
Equipped with an abundance of small-scale microelectromechanical sensors, modern mobile devices such as smartphones and smartwatches can now offer context-aware services to users in mobile environments. While advances in mobile context-aware applications have made our everyday environments increasingly intelligent, these applications are prone to bugs that are highly difficult to reproduce and repair. Compared to conventional computer software, mobile context-aware applications often have more
... omplex structures to process a wide variety of dynamic context data in specific scenarios. Accordingly, researchers have proposed diverse context simulation techniques to enable low-cost and effective tests, instead of conducting costly and time-consuming real-world experiments. This article aims to give a comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art context simulation methods for testing mobile context-aware applications. In particular, this article highlights the technical distinctions and commonalities in previous research conducted across a multiple disciplines, particularly at the intersection of software testing, ubiquitous computing and mobile computing. This article also discusses how each method can be implemented and deployed by testing tool developers and mobile application testers. Finally, this article identifies several unexplored issues and directions for further advancements in this field.