Connecting the Dots: Improving the Effectiveness of Testing by Leveraging Artifact Relationships

Speaker: Gregory Gay, PhD candidate @ University of Minnesota

Date: Wed. Feb. 19

Time: 4-5pm

Location: Marksbury Theater


A typical software testing framework consists of four artifacts: the specification, system, test suite, and test oracle. The specification is the blueprint from which the system is built, the test suite is a set of stimuli to the system, and the test oracle is a judge on the resulting execution of the system. Typically, testing research focuses on one of these artifacts, and treats the other artifacts as though they are independent. 

Such an assumption limits the potential effectiveness of the testing process. In fact, the artifacts of the testing process are often highly coupled. For example, an effective test suite has been found to be one where the tests have been built to account for the structure of the system and the execution points monitored by the test oracle.

In this talk, I will discuss two projects that improve the cost, time to complete, and fault-finding effectiveness of the software testing process by leveraging the connections between artifacts and using the information learned to improve test suite and oracle composition.


Gregory Gay is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota, working with the Critical Systems research group. His research interests include automated testing and analysis - with an emphasis on test oracle construction - and search-based software engineering.

Greg previously received his BS and MS from West Virginia University and has held research-based internships at NASA’s Ames Research Center and Independent Verification & Validation Center and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.