# Writing your own test case¶

In this tutorial, you will learn how to write a test case for your contributed code, and make sure the test passes.

## Outline¶

Note

This tutorial is intended for people interested in contributing code contributing code to pulse2percept.

## Prerequisites¶

This tutorial assumes the following:

• pulse2percept is already installed on your machine. If you are having trouble with installation, see Installation.
• You have read Contributing to pulse2percept and have followed the steps to fork and clone a development version of pulse2percept to your local computer.

## Scenario¶

The goal of this tutorial is to add a new function to the pulse_trains subpackage that returns the largest element in a TimeSeries object.

The function, which we will call largest_timeseries_element, should:

• accept a TimeSeries object, or throw a TypeError if a different object is passed
• throw a warning if the largest value is 0
• return the largest value in the TimeSeriesdata container

Note

If this were a real problem, there would already be an issue for it in pulse2percept’s issue tracker.

In that case, you would open the specific issue on GitHub and assign yourself to it. You can also post a comment to let the community know that you are going to submit a pull request on this issue.

## Implementation¶

In this tutorial, we will follow what is known as test-driven development (TDD). TDD turns the common work flow (write code, then test it interactively) on its head with the goal of producing better code faster. Instead, we will follow the following recipe:

• Write the test function, test_largest_timeseries_element first.
• Then write a largest_timeseries_element function that should pass those tests.
• If the function produces any wrong answers, fix it and re-run the test function.

Note

In Python, function and variable names are generally lowercase, with words separated by underscores. Class names, on the other hand, typically use CapWords convention.

See PEP8 for a full Python style guide.

### Creating a new branch¶

Following the general guidelines outlined in Contributing to pulse2percept, we need to perform all our work on a new branch.

First, we need to make sure we are working off the latest code:

Then we will create a new branch (aptly named “largest-timeseries-element” or similar):

### Writing the test function¶

Because our code is related to TimeSeries, which lives in the pulse2percept.stimuli.pulse_trains subpackage, our new function should go in the same subpackage.

The corresponding test file is “pulse2percept/stimuli/tests/test_pulse_trains.py”.

In this file, we will create a new test function. For consistency, it is important that our function be named “test_<name of function to test>”, where “<name of function to test>” is identical to the function added to the pulse_trains subpackage. For example:

• def test_TimeSeries for testing the TimeSeries object (note that this function already exists).
• def test_TimeSeries_resample for testing the resample method of the TimeSeries object.
• def test_newfunc for a new function called newfunc.

Our test function should therefore be called test_largest_timeseries_element.

Important

Within our function, we have access to a number of numpy-testing routines that can compare desired to actual output, such as:

• assert_equal(actual, desired) returns an AssertionError if two objects are not equal.
• assert_almost_equal(actual, desired, decimal=7) returns an AssertionError if two items are not equal up to desired precision (good for testing doubles).
• assert_raises(exception_class) fails unless an Exception of class exception_class is thrown.

Typically, we want to make sure the function works for a few simple cases. Our first draft for a test function might thus look like this:

import numpy as np
import numpy.testing as npt
from pulse2percept.stimuli import (largest_timeseries_element, TimeSeries,
PulseTrain)

def test_largest_timeseries_element():
# Create a simple TimeSeries object:
ts = TimeSeries(1, np.array([0, 1.5, 2]))
# Use almost_equal because we are comparing doubles:
npt.assert_almost_equal(largest_timeseries_element(ts), 2.0)


We can now run the entire test suite from the pulse2percept root directory:

make tests


Alternatively, we can run a single test file by specifying its path:

pytest pulse2percept/stimuli/tests/test_pulse_trains.py


Even better yet, we can run just a single test from a single file:

pytest pulse2percept/stimuli/tests/test_pulse_train.py::test_largest_timeseries_element


What we expect to see is an ImportError, because we have not actually written the largest_timeseries_element function yet! So let’s get going.

### Writing the actual function¶

The next step is to add the actual function to “pulse2percept/stimuli/pulse_trains.py”:

import numpy as np

def largest_timeseries_element(ts):
"""Return the largest element of a TimeSeries object

Parameters
----------
ts:
TimeSeries
A TimeSeries object

Returns
-------
max:
double
The largest value in the TimeSeries data
"""
return np.max(ts.data)


Note how we make use of docstring notation here to document the functions purpose, input arguments, and return values.

Now we can run the test suite again, and find… still an ImportError. What’s going on here?

### Adding the function to the subpackage __init__¶

To make sure the function gets imported, we have to edit the subpackage’s “__init__.py” file. It might look something like this:

"""Stimuli

This module provides a number of stimuli.
"""

from .base import Stimulus
from .pulse_trains import (TimeSeries, MonophasicPulse, BiphasicPulse,
PulseTrain)

__all__ = [
'BiphasicPulse',
'MonophasicPulse',
'PulseTrain',
'Stimulus',
'TimeSeries'
]


Note

One of the purposes of this file is to enumerate all the functions and objects that should be imported in this subpackage.

The __all__ variable lists all functions and objects to be imported when somebody types from pulse2percept import *.

To make sure our new function gets imported, we need to modify the file as follows:

"""Stimuli

This module provides a number of stimuli.
"""

from .base import Stimulus
from .pulse_trains import (TimeSeries, MonophasicPulse, BiphasicPulse,
PulseTrain, largest_timeseries_element)

__all__ = [
'BiphasicPulse',
'largest_timeseries_element'
'MonophasicPulse',
'PulseTrain',
'Stimulus',
'TimeSeries'
]


Note

In agreement with PEP8, our function name is lowercase and uses underscores to separate words, whereas the other variables listed in this file are all class names (and thus should use CapWords convention).

Now we are able to run the test suite without ImportError!

Note

You might have to run make first to install the code changes. make tests does that automatically.

### Updating the test function¶

Now the test passes, but have not yet implemented all the functionality outlined under Scenario. Specifically, we need to throw a TypeError if the input argument is not of type TimeSeries, and throw a warning if the largest value is 0.

We should therefore update test_largest_timeseries_element as follows:

import pytest
import numpy as np
import numpy.testing as npt
from pulse2percept.stimuli import (largest_timeseries_element, TimeSeries,
PulseTrain)
from pulse2percept.utils.testing import assert_warns_msg

def test_largest_timeseries_element():
# Create a simple TimeSeries object:
ts = TimeSeries(1, np.array([0, 1.5, 2]))
# Use almost_equal because we are comparing doubles:
npt.assert_almost_equal(largest_timeseries_element(ts), 2.0)

# Make sure an error is thrown here:
with pytest.raises(TypeError):
largest_timeseries_element(3.0)
with pytest.raises(TypeError):
largest_timeseries_element([0, 1.5, 2])

# Make sure a warning is thrown here:
ts = TimeSeries(1, np.array([0, 0, 0]))
assert_warns_msg(UserWarning, largest_timeseries_element, [ts],
"is zero")


The assert_warns_msg takes as input the warning category to expect (UserWarning), the function to test (largest_timeseries_element), a list of objects to pass ([ts]), and a warning message (or substring thereof) to expect ("is zero").

• You might want to check whether your function works on different NumPy arrays: np.array([1])? 2-D? 3-D? etc.
• You might want to check whether the warning is raised when the maximum values is really close but not exactly 0.
• You might want to check if your function works for subclasses of TimeSeries, such as MonophasicPulse and PulseTrain.

### Updating the actual function¶

To make this test pass, we have to make a few changes to our function.

For one, we can check a variable’s type with isinstance.

For another, we can produce a warning with the logging package.

import logging
import numpy as np

def largest_timeseries_element(ts):
"""Return the largest element of a TimeSeries object

Parameters
----------
ts:
TimeSeries
A TimeSeries object

Returns
-------
max:
double
The largest value in the TimeSeries data
"""
if not isinstance(ts, TimeSeries):
raise TypeError("Input argument 'ts' is not a TimeSeries object.")
max_val = np.max(ts.data)
if np.isclose(max_val, 0):
# Use isclose because we are comparing doubles:
logging.getLogger(__name__).warn("Max val is zero.")
return max_val


A few things to observe here:

• We raise TypeError, which is the same type of error that we test against in our test function. We could have also chosen a different exception class.
• We don’t need to import TimeSeries here, because it is defined in the same file.
• We use isinstance to check if the input argument is an instance or subclass of TimeSeries. Note that a PulseTrain would also return True, because it is a subclass of TimeSeries.
• We use np.isclose to check whether two values are equal within a tolerance. We could also pass an absolute/relative tolerance level.
• We use logging.getLogger(__name__) to access the logger that was already created by pulse2percept for this very file (“__name__”).

Note

You would import Stimulus by writing from .base import Stimulus, because it lives in the same directory (“.”) in the file “base.py”. Similarly, you could import ArgusII via from ..implants import ArgusII.

### Verifying the result¶

The final test is to make sure that make tests marks all tests with “PASSED”. It is important to run all tests, because sometimes our code change (e.g., a bug fix) inadvertently breaks other pieces of the software. Running the full test suite makes sure this doesn’t happen.

Once all tests pass, you are ready to submit your pull request (see Contributing to pulse2percept).

Good luck!

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