Software Quality Journal 19 (1): 141-163 (2011)

Contributions of Tester Experience and a Checklist Guideline
to the Identification of Categories and Choices for Software Testing

Pak-Lok Poon 2 , T.H. Tse 3 , Sau-Fun Tang 4 , and Fei-Ching Kuo 4, 5

[paper from Springer | technical report TR-2010-09]


An early step for most black-box testing methods is to identify a set of categories and choices (or their equivalents) from the specification. The identification is often performed in an ad hoc manner, thus the quality of categories and choices is in doubt. Poorly identified categories and choices will affect the comprehensiveness of test cases. In this paper, we describe several comparative studies using three commercial specifications and discuss the major results. The objectives of our studies are: (a) to investigate the differences in the types and amounts of mistakes made between inexperienced and experienced software testers in an ad hoc identification approach, and (b) to determine the extent of mistake reduction after discussing the mistakes with the software testers and providing with them an identification checklist.

Keywords: Black-box testing; Choice relation framework; Classification-tree methodology; Software testing

1. This work is supported in part by the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (project no. 717308), a discovery grant of the Australian Research Council (project no. DP09847600), and the Departmental General Research Fund of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (project no. 1-ZV2H).
2. School of Accounting and Finance, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong.
3. Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
4. Centre for Software Analysis and Testing, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.
5. It is with deep regret and sadness that we report the passing of F.-C. Kuo on October 6, 2017.


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