Congratulations to Myra Cohen who received a $332,104 NSF award for the project entitled “A Web Infrastructure for Research and Experimentation in User Interactive Event Driven Testing”.
User interactive event driven software is pervasive today. End users interact with applications by pointing, clicking or touching the interface, and as this happens, the programs respond. Ensuring the dependability of these systems through software testing is paramount, because insufficient testing techniques currently cost the US economy billions of dollars annually. Yet the flexibility of these systems, which make them appealing to users, also increases the difficulty of testing them. This difficulty has fueled a large body of research on user interactive event driven testing, but the newly developed techniques are often evaluated using isolated case studies and experiments. The user interactive event driven testing community lacks a common set of benchmarks and tools for evaluating their new methods, leading to experimental mismatch; the results of one study are difficult to compare with another. The lack of common benchmarks also means that we cannot easily combine results of multiple studies to build a larger body of knowledge.
This project reduces the mismatch and is advancing user interactive event driven testing research by developing a shared research and experimentation web infrastructure called COMET. An initial proof of concept for COMET was developed through earlier support from NSF. Factors that contribute to the mismatch include the development of platform specific test methods, test harnesses that require customizations for each test subject application and each operating system, and models that are incompatible with one another. The research will devise new techniques to control the testing environment, contextualizing factors that may affect experimental outcome and will allow for evolution and change of the artifacts over time. It is building a shared and extensible web infrastructure of benchmarks, tools, models and test artifacts that will enable scientific discovery in the state-of-the-art of user interactive event driven testing. COMET is a public resource that will be available to a broader community. Its impact will extend not only to the user interactive event testing research community, but also to others that work with user interfaces such as those who study usability, and to industry and the software testing community at large. The project work will involve both graduate and undergraduate students. Artifacts from the COMET website will be utilized for educational purposes in the classroom.
The grant will last until July 2015.