Automatic test case generation for spreadsheets Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x346d759k

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  • Test case generation in software testing is a process of developing a set of test data that satisfies a particular test adequacy criterion. It is desirable to automate this process since doing it manually is not only technically difficult but also tedious and time-consuming. Although there has been considerable research in automatic test case generation directed at imperative languages, we find no research exists addressing the problem for spreadsheet languages. This problem is particularly important for spreadsheet languages, since spreadsheet languages are widely used by end users and most of them lack testing backgrounds. To address this need, in this thesis, we present an automatic test case generation methodology for spreadsheet languages. Based on an analysis of the differences between imperative languages and spreadsheet languages, we developed our methodology by properly adapting existing test case generation techniques for imperative languages. Our methodology is integrated with a previously developed methodology for testing spreadsheets, and supports incremental automatic test case generation and visual feedback. We have conducted a family of empirical studies to assess the effectiveness and the efficiency of the essential techniques underlying our methodology. The results of our studies show that the test cases generated by our methodology can exercise a large percentage of a spreadsheet under test. The results also provide insights into the tradeoffs between two test case generation techniques for spreadsheet languages.
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