n South African Computer Journal - Optimal test-case generation for program testing : a Genetic Algorithms approach : reviewed article




In this paper we report research conducted into program test case generation using Genetic Algorithms (). Our goal was to produce an effective test case generation technique for programs which will at the same time be simple enough as a tool for teaching software engineering courses. In the proposed approach, we combined information about program input domain with knowledge of the structure of the program under test in order to generate optimal test cases. Features of the test elements including domain attributes, test case selection criteria, and test values were coded as genes in the chromosome used to represent test cases. Our approach allows the automation of many aspects of test case generation including program instrumentation and test case evaluation. The implementation framework is described and the prototype system is illustrated using programs for linear and binary search. Although the case studies for testing the prototype system are not as complex as many real-life problems, results of the experiments indicate that our approach is practical, effective and capable of generating adequate test-cases for program testing while at the same time simple enough to be useful for the purpose of demonstrating software testing process to software engineering students. Current work is focused on improving the system by automating several aspects of program instrumentation and building a user interface for computer assisted teaching.


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