March 23, 2007

Artificial Intelligence Meets Random Selection

Posted by Ben Simo

Automated tests can be defined using models instead of scripting specific test steps. Tests can then be randomly generated from those models. The computer can even use the model to recover from many errors that would stop scripted automation. Although the computer cannot question the software like a human tester, the automation tool can report anything it encounters that deviates from the model. Thinking human beings can then adjust the model based on what they learn from the automated test’s results. This is automated model-based testing.

As with any explicit model, a model built for test automation is going to be less complex than the system it represents. It does not need to be complex to be useful. New information can be added to existing models throughout the testing process to improve test coverage.