F11-502: Test Oracle Automation: Unachievable Dream or Tomorrow’s Reality?

Track: Test Automation

Test oracle is considered among the most important components of software testing, yet quite sophisticated and generally difficult to automate. A test oracle is defined as any (human or mechanical) agent that decides whether a program behaves correctly under a given test, and accordingly can produce a verdict of “pass” or “fail”. The term test oracle may be viewed in two slightly different meanings. As a reference function, it addresses the question what the correct answer is. As a reference and evaluation function, it checks whether the program behavior is abnormal. Additional distinctions may stem from the characteristics of the test oracle: deterministic oracle (mismatch means the program failed) or probabilistic oracle (mismatch means the program has probably failed). In the context of this work, the oracle is used as a reference and evaluation, deterministic function. It is said that test oracle is one of the most humanly dependent properties during the testing work; hence our ability to automate testing is fundamentally constrained by our ability to create and use oracles.

The goal of this session is to stimulate debate and innovative approach in one of the most troublesome aspects of test automation. The session will present and redefine the challenge of automating test oracle, demonstrating models and tools to address the issue and suggesting new practical and innovative ways to overcome the obstacles.

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Session Speaker:

Dani AlmogDani Almog – Researcher, BGU – Ben Gurion University
Dani Almog has been a software developer and team lead for 5 years, managing a small (20 experts) software house. Later, co-founding a company called NSI – (spinoff from Digital CO), he served as VP for software development for the finance market. In 2000, he joined Amdocs as director for software development and as a customer account manager. He also served as director for test automation, where he built infrastructures for test automation including: development of testing tools, methodologies and training Amdocs R&D division with the new technology. Three years ago, he retired from Amdocs and joined BGU academic faculty.