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A Quantifiable Methodology for Software Testing: Using Path Analysis.

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Technical rept.,

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This report is a comprehensive presentation of a quantatitive methodology for software testing which measures test effectiveness at several different levels of program coverage and establishes confidence levels in the correctness of the program at these levels. Based on the resulting numerical specifications for testing a computer program, quantatitive acceptance criteria are developed. These metrics are sensitived to cost and software criticality factors. The methodology, based on path analysis, is a natural extension of software engineering techniques to quality assurance for well-structured programs. It has been applied successfully, but several practical problems still remain. Application of this mlethodology to a software development program will provide control and visibility into the structure of the program and may result in improved reliability and documentation. Especially for the Air Force, when it acts only as a monitor, external to the software development process, the methodology provides a framework for proper planning and optimal allocation of test resources by quantifying the effectiveness of a test program and pre-determining the amount of testing required for achieving test objectives. With the proof of the fundamental theorem of program testing in 1975, which establishes testing as the equivalent of a proof of correctness for programs which satisfy some structural constraints, systematic testing has become possibly the only effective means to assure quality of a program of non-trivial complexity.

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  • Computer Programming and Software

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