Proceedings of the 4th Ibero-American Symposium on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (JIISIC '04),
Madrid, Spain, pp. 569-583 (2004)

Case Studies on the Selection of Useful Relations in Metamorphic Testing 1

T.Y. Chen 2 , D.H. Huang, 2 , T.H. Tse 3 and Z.Q. Zhou 4

[paper from JIISIC 2004 | technical report TR-2004-13]


An oracle is a mechanism against which the tester can decide whether the outputs of the program for the executed test cases are correct. A fundamental problem of software testing is that, in many situations, the oracle is not available or too difficult to apply. A metamorphic testing (MT) method has been proposed to alleviate the oracle problem. MT is an automated testing method that employs expected properties of the target functions to test programs without human involvement. These properties are called metamorphic relations (MR). For a given problem, usually more than one MR can be identified. It is therefore interesting and very useful for practitioners to know how to select effective MRs that are good at detecting program defects. This article proposes a guideline for the select-ion of good MRs for automated testing. The effectiveness of our strategy has been investigated through case studies.

Keywords: Verification and validation, software testing, automated testing, metamorphic testing, metamorphic relation, test oracle, follow-up test case

1. This research is supported in part by a discovery grant of the Australian Research Council (project no. DP 0345147), a grant of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (project no. 714504), and a grant of the University of Hong Kong.
2. Centre for Software Analysis and Testing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn 3122, Australia.
3. Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
4. (Corresponding author.)
School of Computer Science and Software Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia.


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