Research in Software Testing rocks

This is a guest post by Sohail Sarwar *

Is there any research scope in “Software Testing”? Can I do research in “Software Testing”? Is software testing research evolving to comprehend upcoming trends of software industry? The answer is a big “YES”.

There is a far ranging of pile of research ideas in the realm of “Software Testing” for optimizing the prevalent testing processes and procedures. These research areas can be exemplified with use of Knowledge Engineering techniques in software testing, Semantics-driven test case generation & execution and development of automation tools for automated testing etc.

There has been a surge in research belonging to the domain of Software Testing with recent focus on tweaking age old methodologies to fit into ever changing Agile world and inventing new techniques including Search based software testing.

Here we will take a brief glance of how we can use “Artificial Intelligence specifically Genetic Agorithms” for ‘Test Case Prioritization’ for enhancing the efficacy of software testing especially in perspective of regression testing.

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Test Case prioritization, a way to sort (prioritize) test cases from a plethora of test cases, has not been employed in Agile environment for prioritizing test cases especially in  “Automated Test Plans”. Automated testing in agile specifically scrum, having priority test cases is emanated using Genetic Algorithms. Prioritization is courtesy to base factors such as operational profile, test scenario criticality, and faults uncovered by each test case; used to weight test scenarios. Proposed technique exhibits great performance with added rate of fault detection by dynamically prioritizing NUnit based test scenarios.

[Note: Full Text of technique will be made available after it is published]

This is just a single example of how we can contribute to make software testing more effective.  Do you have any other research idea to share for software testing community?

* Sohail is a longtime supporter in Knowledge Tester’s mission of promoting software quality and has helped in almost every activity. He possesses a very good base knowledge in this field along with hands on experience. Currently he is a Phd scholar taking up above and other challenging questions. Thanks Sohail for this piece and we are waiting for more stuff!

5 thoughts on “Research in Software Testing rocks

  1. Thanks for the post, I agree testing does have a lot of potential for research. I think a little more details on how to use “Genetic Agorithms” for prioritizing test cases would not go amiss. Do the regression test cases need to be prioritized to save execution time of the specific test cases, and get the results quickly?

  2. Thanks for your interest in post Sir. Rationale and basics of test case prioritization, metrics for evaluating it are summarized here http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=csetechreports.
    Primary usage of GA for certain prioritization can be found in http://www.ijcsi.org/papers/IJCSI-8-3-2-433-444.pdf.
    I will share the full article along with technique and implementation details once it is published.
    If we have thousands of test cases, prioritization will be handy in saving execution time and effort in producing quality results.
    Please feel free to contact me for any further information.

  3. Real good share, Sohail. Software Testing has great potential for research and test prioritization is definitely one of them. I look forward to read the full technique, I am sure it will be very interesting.

    Your post actually led me towards exploring this topic in little more detail to see if there are any conferences out there which publish testing related research. My search was fruitful and I have found the following specialized conferences which are actively publishing software testing research material. This is also a sign of active research. Other than these workshops, conferences and symposiums, there are also some software engineering conferences which cover software testing as a mini-track. So, seems like research in software testing is very promising, just like you have mentioned.

    IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification, and Validation (ICST)
    International Symposium on Software Testing and Analysis
    10th Workshop on Advances in Model Based Testing (A-MOST 2014)
    SQ 2014 : Fifth International Workshop on Software Quality (SQ 2014)

  4. Thanks Huma for your words. Its really encouraging to see fellow testers like yourself in arena of software testing research while playing their role in industry.. Thanks for sharing the famous venues where testing initiatives are promoted.

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