Structural Testing in Software Testing Research Paper

  • Length: 11 pages
  • Sources: 9
  • Subject: Education - Computers
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #97954339

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Considering the level of effectiveness that this procedure has, the assumption that many developers use it as part of software development is not out of the ordinary. It is evident that the development of useful applications, say those associated with dynamic code optimization and code vulnerability checkers has this process embedded in their development and application. Additionally, the process of instrumentation appears widely in the development of these applications. This however limits the functionality of the application owing to the fact that the aspect of instrumentation is usually, custom made to an explicit application and infrastructure. What the structure therefore, lacks encompass flexible and scalable instrumentation framework with the ability for utilization in different applications. Current research studies focus on improving such limitations.

It could not be wrong for anyone to note that Software testing procedures constitute have critical problems, which are undecidable. However, the improvements made in the field with respect to the same feature are notable and therefore should not be underestimated. The initiatives that different researchers take in concentrating on diverse testing techniques, coupled with the identification of coding errors, gets credit for these sorts of improvements.

Since time immemorial, Realistic software ventures have adopted the notion of a statement and branch coverage and uncomplicated test strategy for structural testing. There is substantial research activity in the areas of data flow testing, in which these simpler coverage processes are in discriminated to increasingly influential data flow coverage standards. Considering the fact that these features have to date, not reached their full potential, there need to be more experimental activities with them with the participation numerous software professionals very imperative.

With the structural testing procedures, we have witnessed limitations. This is irrespective of the fact that it constitutes one of the most effective software testing and evaluation procedures accessible to different application developers. One of the approaches advanced with this respect is the introduction of evolutionary testing. According to Wegener, Baresel and Sthamer (2001), this mode of testing makes use of evolutionary algorithms with practical testing being widespread in Object Oriented Programming like C. programming. This fear categorizes structural testing into four portions and include node -- node oriented, path oriented, node oriented and node-path oriented approaches. The invention also incorporated the concept of fitness function which is based specific applications which can be used in evaluating individuals developed in line with test objects branching conditions. The evolutionary approach is believed to have the capacity for enhancing more goal oriented activities in software development and the elimination of as many errors as possible. The fact that the structural method of testing constitutes a variety of disadvantages, its high position among other programs notwithstanding, makes the application of the likes of evolutionary approaches considerable effective.

The identification of the specific problem area in structural testing is a very key element in dealing with the problems that limit the benefits that the procedure offers to the world of software development. Addressing each and every limitation in the procedure would help not only make it the best ever software testing technique but will enhance its application all though the practice of software development. Some of the problem areas that require addressing include, the need for extensive coding and structural knowledge of the applications, the requirement that each and every bit be considered in testing and the modification of the program. Considering that the use of high expertise cause the process to be so costly, training more and more experts in the field would solve the problem. The increasing demand for better developers of the day will however not make this approach quite effective. The other means through which solution to this problem can be achieved is to institute a procedure where, not so much knowledge of the structures of the codes is required in enabling individuals to undertake the required test, this however should take into consideration the maintenance of the quality of the mechanism. Creating room for the elimination of such requirement should therefore, neither compromise the quality of the approach nor inflate the cost of performing the tests. Additionally, the researchers should focus on measures that make this testing approach practical without the need of the elimination or modification of certain components in the mechanism and including the capability the practitioners can examine the code in a runtime environment among other corrections.

Summary

In the contemporary world, every activity is becoming, fast paced and stakeholders express the need for applications that can help them achieve their goals speedily and without compromising quality. The frequent advancements that occur in the world of information technology and software development seem to take this need very seriously. The developments of software testing and evaluation mechanism extensively complement the satisfaction of these needs. Furthermore, the focus of developers in generating test mechanisms that provide a wide variety of advantages is very prominent. Structural software testing approach constitutes one of the best practices in software testing and evaluation. As Desikan & Ramesh (2006) demonstrate, this automated approach to testing applications has a great a capacity in debugging the programs, limiting the errors, and facilitating the production of the state of the art software applications.

Structural testing, for developers takes three main stages namely, code coverage, code/unit functional testing, and code complexity testing. These categories serve different purposes in the testing process and operate at different levels in the structural testing. Additionally, they constitute sub-categories, which entail the steps, and procedures that cumulatively describe the structured approach to software testing and evaluation. The code or unit functional evaluation relates the initial, speedy, and simple task and constitutes checking of obvious issues, creation of debug version, and the institution of transitional print statements (DeMillo, 1987). The code coverage segment, on the other hand constitutes the running of test cases, testing recognized portions and instrumentation while the code complexity test relates to the provision of explanations over the independence of the paths and the availability of limits on the number of tests to run in guaranteeing the statement's execution (Desikan & Ramesh, 2006).

As numerous stakeholders indicate, this approach presents a variety of advantages including the ability to establish the types of data whether input or output, the capacity for developers to apply the knowledge of the programs internal logic and the possibility that developers have concerning code optimization Perry (2006). Other merits come in the form of the motivation of the application of careful reasoning, the automation of the approach and early error detection. On the other side, this approach has its own drawbacks, which makes developers sometimes consider the manual functional testing mechanism over this (Desikan & Ramesh, 2006). These include the Extensive requirement of experts and the subsequent high cost of the process, the need for comprehensive knowledge of the internal design and codes and the complexity in identifying situating every bit of the codes among other limitations (Perry, 2006).

All this information put into consideration, the significance for the development of more and increasingly effective application comes to mind. The world and individuals in it have exposure to more demanding tasks in a day-to-day basis and the capacity for developers to produce the most effective applications goes a long way in meeting these demands. One means by which developers ensure that these products attain the ability to work appropriately include the elimination of any possibility of the occurrence of errors as in the testing and evaluation of the systems. The structural testing mechanism, owing to the wide range of its use, its automated nature and the massive advantage it presents constitutes one of the best approaches for achieving this effectiveness. However, this procedure does not fully serve the needs of application development due to the shortcomings that it comes with.

Addressing the disadvantages that structural testing mechanism present is evidently crucial in making it the ideal approach to software testing and evaluation. Over the years, researchers have expressed interest in dealing with these shortcomings. A case in point is the introduction of the evolutionary testing whose use of evolutionary algorithms is practiced in the use of applications using the likes of C. programming language (Wegener et al., 2001). The advancement of more research studies on the subject is still rife. It is however important for these researchers to make serious attempts at providing tangible solutions to the specific problems that associate with this mode of testing. This should, on the other hand, not compromise the effectiveness of the mechanism and its reputation as one of the most preferred software testing procedures.

Conclusion

Software testing and evaluation is a very significant aspect of application development owing to its ability of eliminating errors in the programs. Structural software testing, thanks to its high end capabilities, present developers with the possibility of achieving this goal. Irrespective of the fact that this approach constitutes not the perfect software testing mechanism, its advantages over other models of testing makes it very popular in the field…

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