13 August 2004 Creating a flexible environment for testing scientific software
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Abstract
When writing scientific modeling and simulation software, frequent regression tests can expose bugs that would otherwise create future obstacles. For this reason, regression testing should be a fundamental part of any development process in medium to large-sized projects. In order to implement a flexible solution to this problem, a software testing framework that is based on simple one-to-one comparisons was designed. The comparisons are performed between two different representations of a simulation with one representation considered valid and the other unknown. Using a simple framework has proven to be advantageous in several ways. One of the biggest advantages is that of portability for testing other software. Implementing standardized design patterns allows a degree of flexibility which keeps it from being bound to specific software. For output, the framework is designed to use the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). This results in the ability to publish results in several different formats, archive into a database, and maintain compatibility with other simulation outputs. The preliminary results of implementing this framework have proven promising. Using object-oriented design has not only simplified development but has allowed for a more user friendly approach to testing. Future improvements include user-customized test cases, ad hoc queries for archived results, and automatic test result publication.
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Mark C. Smith, Robert L. Kelsey, Jane M. Riese, Ginger A. Young, "Creating a flexible environment for testing scientific software", Proc. SPIE 5423, Enabling Technologies for Simulation Science VIII, (13 August 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.542345; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.542345
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