ITECH7409 Software Testing Assignment - Research on Software Testing and Standards, Federation University, Australia
You will need to:
Locate a research paper related to software testing that refers to at least one standard.
Research, comprehend and analyse each document (both the paper and the chosen standard) to find relevant details to answer a set of questions, and prepare a written summary report of findings.
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Answer - Software Testing Standard- IEEE Std 1012-1998
This report consists of an introduction to Standards, a brief description of the research paper and the Standard that is chosen. Responses to the questions related to standard are given along with the similarities and differences between the research paper and chosen standard. And then in the last the findings are summarized in the conclusion.
Introduction to Standards
Standards in the form of documents that describe specifications, requirements and guidelines are used to ensure that the products and services are according to the way they are supposed to be. Standards are the basic instructions to see to it that the products are secure and valid. It consists of different techniques and processes for upper mentioned purpose.
Chosen Research Paper and Standard
The chosen research paper is 'Problems and Strategies for Software Component Testing Standards' by B.A. Wichmann and M. G. Cox. The paper consists of the assessment of various standards relating to the software testing and then by giving different arguments following conclusion is given i.e. the pro-standard are best suitable to be used as a formal standard. In this paper, the subject of software testing is used by taking in account only the executing of the code for finding the errors in a system. The main purpose is to check the quality of the software under testing. The paper is related with the issue of software quality(Wichmann& Cox, 1992). There are many standards for software testing by IEEE. The chosen standard is IEEE Std 1012-1998, IEEE Standard for Software Verification and Validation. It is the revision of IEEE Std 1012-1986. The standard consists of the verification and validation techniques related to the certain tasks i.e. quality of software testing. It is also used to generate a plan for the verification of different software. (IEEE Std 1012-1998, 1998).
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Responses to Standard Questions
Questions for the Standard:
What is the Standard name?
The Standard name is IEEE Std 1012-1998. It is the revised version of IEEE Std 1012-1986. Committee of the IEEE Society of computer is the sponsors of this standard.
Who holds the right to the Standard?
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc holds the copyright to this standard. It was published in 1998 in the United States of America. All right are reserved by this institute.
What are the names of universities who worked as contributors to the standard?
The standards documents are made by IEEE Societies and the Standards Coordinating Committee of the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards board. The personnel of the committee can be outside of the institute. The members work voluntarily and do not get paid.
What is the main purpose or benefit of the standard?
The main aim of the standard is to develop a structure for V&V activities and procedures in context with the software process that include acquisition, management, supply, development, functionality and maintenance processes. It also explains V&V tasks. Also to establish the minimum number of V&V activities related to software integrity level by use of four-level scheme and state the contents of the Software V&V Plan (SVVP). The standard is used to test the safety and quality of the software under different processes like development, testing, operations and maintenance etc.
What basic knowledge about the phrases used in the standard is required for the application of the standard?
For the application of the standard, certain phrases and definitions are necessary to know. Full grasp of these terms will have the user to understand and apply the standard effectively. These key terms involve Software Verification and Validation (V&V) procedures that are used to know the certain requirements are fulfilled for the products development and whether the software is used for the purpose it was intended to use and organization of the standard i.e. the standard is given in the form of clauses, tables, figures and annexes that contain in formative materials for better understanding of the standard. Software integrity level scheme, acceptance testing, component testing, criticality, criticality analysis, hazard analysis, hazard identification, independent verification and validation (IV&V), integration testing, integrity level, Interface Design Document (IDD), explanation of design of software(SDD), Software integrity levels, Software Requirements Specification (SRS) andSoftware Verification and Validation Plan (SVVP) etc.
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What does application of the standard result in?
The standard uses different techniques and processes for the software to test the bugs, errors, hazards and quality of the software under different stages of the software i.e. management phase, during operations, testing and maintenance etc. The standard uses software integrity level scheme to find the minimum V&V tasks for the lifecycle of processes. It defines the criteria for the testing of the components, materials and products using different techniques that involve component testing, criticality, criticality analysis, hazard identification , integration testing etc. The application of the standard results in the establishment of the safe and reliable products.
What specific relevance to the software testing is the standard?
This standard is generally used for the software at the phase of being developed, maintained and also for reuse of the software. The standard is specifically relevant to the software testing in the phase of development of the software. The standard define criteria for the software testing to detect software errors and bugs at an early stage, enhancemanagement and it provides support for the life cycle processes to make sure that it complies with program performance.
Commonalities and Differences between Standard and Research Paper
The testing technique used in the paper is 'component testing'. It is according to the standard chosen as component testing is also described in the standard whereas testing performance is not considered in the paper but it is given in the standard. In the chosen standard, the software integrity level is given to each component of the software ranging from 1 to 4. The research in the paper is done on the attributes of the flow of data of the software that is consists of the level of component testing i.e. execution of the statements, execution of the branch, execution of series of codes. The process acquisition in the standard is used for defining the statement which is the first component of control flow attributes. The paper uses accredited testing which provides the basis for objective testing. The paper lists fourteen types of testing that include equivalence partitioning, cause-effect graphing, boundary testing, syntax oriented testing, checking of the branch, branch condition experimenting etc. The software life cycle process development consists of activities for analysis of requirements, coding, testing etc. The V&V effort include minimum tasks for concept documentation determination, criticality inspection, anger inspection, risk analysis, software requirement evaluation, system experimentation of V&V plan and verification, initiating the plan of component experimentation and checking and verification, origination of checking of integration plan and verification etc. In paper the certain procedure is used i.e. creating a reference software to solve the same type of problem and then the reference data sets is developed to find the reference results. The reference data sets are also used in the software to find test results. And then comparison is done between both the tests. When making reference data sets, the weakness and different paths in the software can also be found. The paper provides example of regression testing. The use of modularity is preferred in the paper and Self-validation or self-checking is not likely used. For the section of testing numeric operations, biased random tests are used for effective results. For compiler validation, black-box testing of compliers is used. To check the code generation of compiler, carefully designed random testing is used to find the bug in the codes by selected programming sections whereas the standard also involve the hazard analysis and risk analysis (Wichmann& Cox, 1992). But the subject of software integrity level is not described in the paper. And in the standard, the whole operations circulate around the software integrity levels for V&V activities.
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The standard IEEE Std 1012-1998 consists of framework of different activities and tasks for software processes to find the errors and quality of the software. The chosen paper describes various procedures for the component experimentation of the software. The methods and strategies given in the paper are not as efficient as the processes described in the standard. The paper has described about the research only in the control flow features or data flow features of the software. But in the standard, the information is provided about all the processes and activities of the software. The paper has only discussed the testing technique. The standard provides framework for the whole software related activities to ensure that the software is used for its intended purpose. The white-box testedness metrics are proved to be of great importance i.e. in statement coverage. The BSC proto-standard is objective (Wichmann& Cox, 1992). But it should compete with the possible risks and the fourteen methods described in the paper are overwhelming and confuse the users as there is no easy way to find what methods are needed to use. The BCS proto-standard doesn't involve all the information for the software but chosen IEEE standard is a complete framework.
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