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Introduction to special section on software testing

By R. Hamlet

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 31 No. 6, Pages 662-667

The field of software testing spans mathematical theory, the art and practice of validation, and methodology of software development. To cover this range would require a textbook (or several texts), not a trio of articles. But the work presented in this special section is a kind of "test set." Each paper is a significant contribution within one of the three broad areas. The reader must now make the assessment that is critical to any review of test points: are they representative? My own answer is 'no'; these articles are provocative and revealing rather than routine summaries. And perhaps that is what software testing is all about: good tests are the ones that provide new insights, not the ones that cover well worn ground.

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