Verification of microservices using metamorphic testing

Gang Luo, Xi Zheng, Huai Liu, Rongbin Xu, Dinesh Nagumothu, Ranjith Janapareddi, Er Zhuang, Xiao Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Microservices architecture is drawing more and more attention recently. By dividing the monolithic application into different services, microservices-based applications are more flexible, scalable and portable than traditional applications. However, the unique characteristics of Microservices architecture have also brought significant challenges for software verification. One major challenge is the oracle problem: in the testing of microservices, it is often very difficult to verify the test result given a test input, due to the features of wide distribution, heterogeneity, frequent changes, and numerous runtime behaviors. To tackle such a challenge, in this paper, we investigate how to apply metamorphic testing into the verification of microservices-based applications, which is a simple yet effective approach to oracle problem. Empirical studies are conducted to evaluate the performance of metamorphic testing based on real-world microservice applications, against the baseline random testing technique with a complete oracle. The results show that in the absence of oracles, metamorphic testing can deliver relatively high failure-detection effectiveness. Our work demonstrates that metamorphic testing is both applicable and effective in addressing the oracle problem for the verification of microservices, similar to many other application domains.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlgorithms and architectures for parallel processing
Subtitle of host publication19th International Conference, ICA3PP 2019 Melbourne, VIC, Australia, December 9–11, 2019 Proceedings, Part I
EditorsSheng Wen, Albert Zomaya, Laurence T. Yang
Place of PublicationCham: Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030389918
ISBN (Print)9783030389901
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Algorithms and
Architectures for Parallel Processing (19th : 2019)
- Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201911 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11944 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceInternational Conference on Algorithms and
Architectures for Parallel Processing (19th : 2019)
Abbreviated titleICA3PP 2019


  • Automatic test case generation
  • Microservice
  • Metamorphic Testing
  • Mutation testing
  • Software verification


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