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Effectiveness of Teaching Metamorphic Testing, Part II

Mishra, Kunal S.; Kaiser, Gail E.; Sheth, Swapneel Kalpesh

We study the ability of students in a senior/graduate software engineering course to understand and apply metamorphic testing, a relatively recently invented advance in software testing research that complements conventional approaches such as equivalence partitioning and boundary analysis. We previously reported our investigation of the fall 2011 offering of the Columbia University course COMS W4156 Advanced Software Engineering, and here report on the fall 2012 offering and contrast it to the previous year. Our main findings are: 1) Although the students in the second offering did not do very well on the newly added individual assignment specifically focused on metamorphic testing, thereafter they were better able to find metamorphic properties for their team projects than the students from the previous year who did not have that preliminary homework and, perhaps most significantly, did not have the solution set for that homework. 2) Students in the second offering did reasonably well using the relatively novel metamorphic testing technique vs. traditional black box testing techniques in their projects (such comparison data is not available for the first offering). 3) Finally, in both semesters, the majority of the student teams were able to apply metamorphic testing to their team projects after only minimal instruction, which would imply that metamorphic testing is a viable strategy for student testers.

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Publisher
Department of Computer Science, Columbia University
Publication Origin
New York
Series
Columbia University Computer Science Technical Reports, CUCS-022-13
Academic Units
Computer Science
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