Search-Enhanced Testing

Colin Atkinson, Oliver Hummel, and Werner Janjic
University of Mannheim, Germany

The prime obstacle to automated defect testing has always been the generation of “correct” results against which to judge the behavior of the system under test – the “oracle problem”. So called “back-to-back” testing techniques that exploit the availability of multiple versions of a system to solve the oracle problem have mainly been restricted to very special, safety critical domains such as military and space applications since it is so expensive to manually develop the additional versions. However, a new generation of software search engines that can find multiple copies of software components at virtually zero cost promise to change this situation. They make it economically feasible to use the knowledge locked in reusable software components to dramatically improve the efficiency of the software testing process. In this paper we outline the basic ingredients of such an approach.