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Issue No.03 - May/June (2011 vol.28)
pp: 84-90
Diane Kelly , Royal Military College
Stefan Thorsteinson , Royal Military College
Daniel Hook , Engineering Seismology Group Solutions
ABSTRACT
The authors describe a code testing exercise with an example of scientific software. As part of their analysis of the exercise, they examined four dimensions of testing: context, goals, technique, and adequacy. They started the exercise with approaches commonly described in software engineering literature. During the exercise, testing activities shifted to something more suitable for the situation. The authors analyze this shift, using the four dimensions. Goals changed from general to specific for the scientist, and testing techniques shifted to those that more strongly used and supported the scientist's expertise. In the end, the testing exercise made better use of the scientist's dual role of developer and user.
INDEX TERMS
scientific software, software testing, multidisciplinary team
CITATION
Diane Kelly, Stefan Thorsteinson, Daniel Hook, "Scientific Software Testing: Analysis with Four Dimensions", IEEE Software, vol.28, no. 3, pp. 84-90, May/June 2011, doi:10.1109/MS.2010.88
REFERENCES
1. J. Segal, "Scientists and Software Engineers: A Tale of Two Cultures," Proc. Psychology of Programming Interest Group (PPIG 08), Lancaster Univ., 2008, pp. 44–51.
2. R. Sanders and D. Kelly, "Scientific Software: Where's the Risk and How Do Scientists Deal with It?" IEEE Software, vol. 25, no. 4, 2008, pp. 21–28.
3. T. Shepard and D. Kelly, Dimensions of Testing, tech. report TR-74.188-13, 2003; https://www-927.ibm.com/ibm/cas/publications/ TR-74.188/13index.pdf.
4. R.L. Glass, "Inspections—Some Surprising Findings," Comm. ACM, vol. 42, no. 4, 1999, pp. 17–19.
5. D. Kelly and T. Shepard, "Task-Directed Software Inspection," J. Systems and Software, vol. 73, no. 2, 2004, pp. 361–368.
6. D. Kelly and T. Shepard, "Task-Directed Software Inspection Technique: An Experiment and Case Study," Proc. IBM Centers for Advanced Studies Conf. (CASCON 2000), IBM Press, 2000; http://portal.acm.orgcitation.cfm?id=782040 .
7. D. Kelly, N. Cote, and T. Shepard, "Software Engineers and Nuclear Engineers: Teaming Up to Do Testing," Proc. Canadian Nuclear Soc. Conf., Canadian Nuclear Soc., June 2007.
8. D.A. Hook, "Using Code Mutation to Study Code Faults in Scientific Software," master's thesis, Queen's Univ., Kingston, Canada, 2009; https://qspace.library.queensu.ca/handle/ 19741765.
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