Title: Easing the Oracle Problem with Mutation Testing
Test data generation has made tremendous progress recently, and modern techniques can automatically generate inputs that reach almost any desirable statement in a program. However, the problem of finding good test oracles that determine when a test has found a bug remains, and cannot be completely automated. Today, the test oracle problem is one of the main issues that prohibits widespread adoption of automated testing techniques. Mutation testing is a useful technique to guide test generation; yet, its true power lies not only in the identification of good test data, but in the identification of good test oracles. In this talk I will discuss how mutation testing can ease the oracle problem. There are, however, pitfalls that need to be addressed in future research to remove the oracle problem as a final barrier for widespread adoption of automated test generation techniques.
Gordon Fraser is a lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK. He was previously a post-doc researcher at Saarland University, and received a PhD in computer science from Graz University of Technology, Austria, in 2007. His research concerns the prevention, detection, and removal of defects in software. He develops techniques to generate test cases automatically, and to guide the tester in validating the output of tests by producing test oracles and specifications.