Criteria for Generating Specification-based Tests

Fifth IEEE International Conference on Engineering of Complex Computer Systems (ICECCS '99), Las Vegas, NV, October 1999.

Jeff Offutt, Yiwei Xiong and Shaoying Liu


This paper presents general criteria for generating test inputs from state-based specifications. Software testing can only be formalized and quantified when a solid basis for test generation can be defined. Formal specifications of complex systems represent a significant opportunity for testing because they precisely describe what functions the software is supposed to provide in a form that can easily be manipulated. These techniques provide coverage criteria that are based on the specifications, and are made up of several parts, including test prefixes that contain inputs necessary to put the software into the appropriate state for the test values. The test generation process includes several steps for transforming specifications to tests. Empirical results from a comparative case study application of these criteria are presented.

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