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Design-for-testability is a very important issue in software engineering. It becomes crucial in the case of OO designs where control flows are generally not hierarchical, but are diffuse and distributed over the whole architecture. We introduce the concept of a "testing conflict" when potentially concurrent client/supplier relationships between the same classes along different paths exist in a system. Such conflicts may be hard to test, especially when dynamic binding and polymorphism are involved. We describe the conflicts using topological class configuration diagrams. An overall architecture is represented as a combination of the initial design and several patterns. We focus on the design patterns as coherent subsets in the architecture, and we explain how their use can provide a way for limiting the complexity of testing for conflicts, and of confining their effects to the classes involved in the pattern.
Date of Conference: 27-30 Nov. 2001