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[04-29] Orthogonal arrays, covering arrays, and combinatorial testing



Title: Orthogonal arrays, covering arrays, and combinatorial testing


Speaker: Raghu N. Kacker (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA)


Time: 10:00am, April 29th, 2019


Venue: Seminar Room (334), Level 3, Building 5, Institute of Software, CAS


Abstract: Combinatorial testing (CT) is a systematic and efficient mainly black-box technique for finding hidden defects (bugs) in a software-based system. A combinatorial interaction fault is a combination of the discrete test values of a few of the many possible parameters (factors) whose existence in a test case induces a failure of the system under test (SUT); that is, produces an output result that is different from a pre-determined expected (correct) result. CT identifies combinatorial interaction fault from the pass/fail data of executing a relatively small number of test cases determined from mathematical objects called covering arrays (CAs). Once one or more interaction faults have been identified, the underlying defects in the SUT are searched and corrected. We will discuss the methods, tools and applications of CT. CAs are generalizations of mathematical objects called orthogonal arrays (OAs). We will discuss the benefits of CAs over OAs for CT. CT has also gained significant interest from the software testing community. Since 2012, every year new research and applications are presented at an annual International Workshop on Combinatorial Testing (IWCT).


Biography: Raghu N. Kacker is a mathematical statistician in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His current interests include development and use of combinatorial methods for testing software and systems. He has co-authored over 160 refereed publications and one book. He has a Ph.D. and has worked in academia (Virginia Tech), and industrial (AT&T Bell Laboratories) and government (NIST) research laboratories. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Fellow of the American Society for Quality. He has received the Distinguished Technical Staff Award from AT&T Bell Labs, and Bronze medal and Silver medal from the US Department of Commerce. A list of his NIST publications is posted at