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Reducing qualitative human oracle costs associated with automatically generated test data

McMinn, P; Stevenson, M; Harman, M; (2010) Reducing qualitative human oracle costs associated with automatically generated test data. 1st International Workshop on Software Test Output Validation, STOV 2010, in Conjunction with the 2010 International Conference on Software Testing and Analysis, ISSTA 2010 pp. 1-4. 10.1145/1868048.1868049.

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Abstract

Due to the frequent non-existence of an automated oracle, test cases are often evaluated manually in practice. However, this fact is rarely taken into account by automatic test data generators, which seek to maximise a program's structural coverage only. The test data produced tends to be of a poor fit with the program's operational profile. As a result, each test case takes longer for a human to check, because the scenarios that arbitrary-looking data represent require time and effort to understand. This short paper proposes methods to extracting knowledge from programmers, source code and documentation and its incorporation into the automatic test data generation process so as to inject the realism required to produce test cases that are quick and easy for a human to comprehend and check. The aim is to reduce the so-called qualitative human oracle costs associated with automatic test data generation. The potential benefits of such an approach are demonstrated with a simple case study.

Type: Article
Title: Reducing qualitative human oracle costs associated with automatically generated test data
DOI: 10.1145/1868048.1868049
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Computer Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1302265
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