Using Test Oracles Generated from Program Documentation

Dennis K. Peters and David L. Parnas
CRL, McMaster University, Hamilton ON, Canada


This paper illustrates how software can be described precisely using LD-relations, how these descriptions can be presented in a readable manner using tabular notations, and one way such descriptions can be used to test programs. We describe an algorithm that can be used to generate a test oracle from program documentation, and present the results of using a tool based on it to help test part of a commercial network management application. The results demonstrate that these methods can be effective at detecting errors and greatly increase the speed and accuracy of test evaluation when compared with manual evaluation. Such oracles can be used for unit testing, in situ testing, constructing self-checking software and ensuring consistency between code and documentation.

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Last modified: Sun 1999.01.03 at 15:25 NST by Dennis Peters