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Software Engineering: Principles and Practice by Hans van Vliet

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Chapter 13. Software Testing

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • To be aware of the major software testing techniques

  • To see how different test objectives lead to the selection of different testing techniques

  • To appreciate a classification of testing techniques, based on the objectives they try to reach

  • To be able to compare testing techniques with respect to their theoretical power as well as their practical value

  • To understand the role and contents of testing activities in different life cycle phases

  • To be aware of the contents and structure of the test documentation

  • To be able to distinguish different test stages

  • To be aware of some mathematical models to estimate the reliability of software

Note

Testing should not be confined to merely executing a system to see whether a given input yields the correct output. During earlier phases, intermediate products can, and should, be tested as well. Good testing is difficult. It requires careful planning and documentation. There exist a large number of test techniques. We discuss the major classes of test techniques with their characteristics.

Suppose you are asked to answer the kind of questions posed in (Baber, 1982):

  • Would you trust a completely automated nuclear power plant?

  • Would you trust a completely automated pilot whose software was written by yourself? What if it was written by one of your colleagues?

  • Would you dare to write an expert system to diagnose cancer? What if you are personally held liable in a case where a patient dies because of a malfunction ...

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