Combinatorial Methods in Software Testing
Friday, October 30, 2015
11:45 am - 1:00 pm
Hudson Hall 208
Rick Kuhn, Computer Security Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
Combinatorial methods have attracted attention as a means of providing strong assurance at reduced cost. Combinatorial testing takes advantage of the interaction rule, which is based on analysis of thousands of software failures. The rule states that most failures are induced by single factor faults or by the joint combinatorial effect (interaction) of two factors, with progressively fewer failures induced by interactions between three or more factors. Therefore if all faults in a system can be induced by a combination of t or fewer parameters, then testing all t-way combinations of parameter values is pseudo-exhaustive and provides a high rate of fault detection. The talk explains background, method, and tools available for combinatorial testing. New results on using combinatorial methods for oracle-free testing of certain types of applications will also be introduced.