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General test result checking with log file analysis

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2 Author(s)
Andrews, J.H. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Univ. of Western Ontario, London, Ont., Canada ; Yingjun Zhang

We describe and apply a lightweight formal method for checking test results. The method assumes that the software under test writes a text log file; this log file is then analyzed by a program to see if it reveals failures. We suggest a state-machine-based formalism for specifying the log file analyzer programs and describe a language and implementation based on that formalism. We report on empirical studies of the application of log file analysis to random testing of units. We describe the results of experiments done to compare the performance and effectiveness of random unit testing with coverage checking and log file analysis to other unit testing procedures. The experiments suggest that writing a formal log file analyzer and using random testing is competitive with other formal and informal methods for unit testing.

Published in:

Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

July 2003

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