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Practitioner-oriented visualization in an interactive search-based software test creation tool

Conference paper
Authors Bogdan Marculescu
Robert Feldt
Richard Torkar
Published in Proceedings of the 20th Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC 2013)
ISBN 978-14-79-92143-0
ISSN 1530-1362
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Computer Science and Engineering (GU)
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1109/APSEC.2013.120
Keywords interactive search-based software testing
Subject categories Software Engineering

Abstract

Abstract—Search-based software testing uses metaheuristic search techniques to automate or partially automate testing tasks, such as test case generation or test data generation. It uses a fitness function to encode the quality characteristics that are relevant, for a given problem, and guides the search to acceptable solutions in a potentially vast search space. From an industrial perspective, this opens up the possibility of generating and evaluating lots of test cases without raising costs to unacceptable levels. First, however, the applicability of search-based software engineering in an industrial setting must be evaluated. In practice, it is difficult to develop a priori a fitness function that covers all practical aspects of a problem. Interaction with human experts offers access to experience that is otherwise unavailable and allows the creation of a more informed and accurate fitness function. Moreover, our industrial partner has already expressed a view that the knowledge and experience of domain specialists are more important to the overall quality of the systems they develop than software engineering expertise. In this paper we describe our application of Interactive Search Based Software Testing (ISBST) in an industrial setting. We used SBST to search for test cases for an industrial software module and based, in part, on interaction with a human domain specialist. Our evaluation showed that such an approach is feasible, though it also identified potential difficulties relating to the interaction between the domain specialist and the system

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