Version: 5.2.1.6

#### 126/19: Properties of Quick Lists

The goal of this lab is to make practice developing testable properties.

Properties of Quick Lists

Start by writing some properties that should hold for all quick lists. For example, the fundamental law of first and cons:

 ∀ ls : QList . ∀ x : X . ls.cons(x).first().equals(x)

And rest and cons:

 ∀ ls : QList . ∀ x : X . ls.cons(x).rest().equals(ls)

Exercise 1. Implement the above properties as functions on lists and elements. Test them against your quick list implementation.

Did you find a counter-example to the second property? Why?

Because quick lists are immutable, they should really obey structural equality rather than intensional equality. Thus two lists are equal if they contain equal elements in the same order.

Exercise 2. Override equals and hashCode for quick lists so that equals implements structural equality.

Can you find a counter-example to the properties now? (If so, you may have a bug.)

We can formulate properties about other methods now, too. For example, there’s a property for get and cons analogous to the above:

 ∀ ls : QList . ∀ x : X . ls.cons(x).get(0).equals(x)

[The above property used to have ls.size() in place of 0, which is clearly wrong and has been fixed.]

Exercise 3. Implement the get property as a function on lists and elements. Test it against your quick list implementation.

And here’s one for size and cons:

 ∀ ls : QList . ∀ x : X . ls.cons(x).size().equals(ls.size()+1)

Exercise 4. Implement the size property as a function on lists and elements. Test it against your quick list implementation.

Properties of Quick List Implementations

The above properties are really properties of lists in general and not specific to quick lists. But quick lists have important invariants and we can use property-based testing to see if those invariants are maintained. For example, a quick list is a forest of full binary trees. Your code should be written to assume this for inputs and guarantee it for outputs, but now we can actually test that there were no mistakes:

∀ ls : QList<X> . “each tree in ls is full”

The property is in English because giving it in more detail would require knowing about how you represented quick lists.

Recall that a tree is full if its left and right tree are of the same size.

Exercise 5. Implement the fullness property as a function on lists. Test it against your quick list implementation.

You should be careful in coding the above since it likely relies on size, which is probably written to assume the invariant you are testing. One way to avoid this is to add a slowSize method that calculates the size of a tree without assuming it is full.

The fullness property still doesn’t quite characterize the real invariant of quick lists, which is that the forest is in strictly ascending order of size with the possible exception of the first two, which may be the same size:

∀ ls : QList<X> . “Either the first two trees of ls are of equal size and every subsequent tree is strictly larger, or every tree is strictly larger”

Exercise 6. Implement the larger property as a function on lists. Test it against your quick list implementation.

Finally, these properties are most usefully tested against random lists. To generate random lists of integers, here’s a useful utility (this code wasn’t tested, so you may have to touch it up a bit):

 // Generator for random lists of at most given size // with elements drawn from integers in given range. class RandomList { Integer size;  // Size of list Integer max;   // Maximum element value Random r = new Random(); RandomList(Integer size, Integer max) { this.size = size; this.max = max; } // Produce a random list of integers QList nextList() { QList ls = new QEmpty(); Integer s = r.nextInt() % size; for (Integer i = 0; i < s; i = i+1) { ls = ls.cons(r.nextInt() % max); } return ls; } }