Test prophet and heuristic methods

Source: Internet
Author: User
Test prophet and heuristic methods

When obtaining the test task, the tester needs to examine the two basic situations. The first type is for testers:

N how is the testing experience of testers rich or lacking?

N How are testers familiar with and familiar with the industry experience of tested products?

N How do testers know the needs of the tested products? Are you familiar with or understand?

The second type is the product under test:

N what stage is product development currently in?

Have n products been tested? What types of tests are used and what functions and attributes are covered?

N what are the current risks or potential problems of the product?

Testers should carefully analyze and understand these situations. Under the time pressure and business quality pressure, testers need to drive the test activities based on the correct information to achieve better results.

First, testers need to be very clear about their own situation, that is, their own knowledge, including product knowledge, industry knowledge, testing technology, development technology and computer basics.

This knowledge is checked to quickly and effectively determine whether the detected problem is a negative evaluation defect during testing. That is, testers need to combine various knowledge to construct a set of testing precognition to efficiently identify product defects. A feasible method to construct a test prophet is to refer to the hiccupps (f) heuristic rule [bolton05], which identifies product defects through consistency checks.

N history: whether the current product version is consistent with the previous version.

N vision: whether the product is consistent with the vision of the development organization.

N similar products: whether the product is consistent with similar products.

N Statement (claims): whether the product is consistent with the statement of the important person.

N user's expectations: whether the product is consistent with the user's expectations.

N product: whether the functions in the product can be compared are consistent.

Purpose: whether the product is consistent with its (explicit or implicit) purpose.

N Regulation (statutes): whether the product is consistent with applicable laws.

N common sense (familiarity): whether the product is consistent with common sense.

Although we have many ways to enrich the test Prophet, however, it is difficult to reach a perfect level without paying enough time costs (all the expected outputs are identified before the test, which requires a lot of time cost investment ), therefore, we often encounter the following problems during exploratory testing:

N the absence of a testing prophet allows the tester to determine in advance that the observed system behavior must be correct or wrong.

N without a separate test prophet, it indicates that a function works correctly at any time or under any circumstances.

N some functions seem to work normally, but in some cases it will fail and affect the correctness and applicability of other testing precognition.

It can be seen that when a tester constructs a test prophet, there will certainly be many difficulties. How can this problem be solved? The following are three possible ideas.

N ignore this problem (maybe the value of this information is not worthwhile from the cost perspective ).

N simplify this problem (improve testability to get more information, analyze requirements, conventions and code, so as to get simpler inspection rules ).

N transfer (consider the relevance of the problem and start with a similar problem ).

In the test design process, testers can also use the heuristic method (heuristics) to generate more and better test ideas, such as [bach11]:

Guideword Heuristics: Some words or tags can guide testers to discover their knowledge and experience and generate new test ideas ..

Trigger Heuristics: some ideas that exist in events or conditions can remind testers to experiment in another way, just like an alert clock.

Subtitle Heuristics: Helps testers reconstruct their testing ideas and gain more options.

N Heuristic Model: A group of systemic ideas can help testers control, manage, and mine more ideas.

In fact, people often use heuristic methods in their daily lives. For example, we often use the following simple rules to deal with complex real-world problems:

N drunk driving is very dangerous.

N birds in the hand are better than two birds in the forest.


N people sometimes hide their passwords next to computers and try to find them.

N holiday stores generally open the door later.

N. If your computer suffers an inexplicable behavior, restart it. If the problem persists, reinstall the operating system.

N if this is a really important task, your boss will follow it; otherwise, you can ignore it.

From these examples, we can see that the heuristic method is an empirical method. It provides a simple and possible solution to complicated problems. With heuristic methods, people can quickly take action and explore answers in practice, so as to avoid endless problem analysis and no progress. However, a heuristic method is just a "shortcut". It does not guarantee that the "best answer" is provided or that the "right answer" is always provided ". Therefore, wise testers do not rely on specific and single heuristic methods. They use multiple heuristic methods and adjust the testing methods and test the crowdsourced security testing based on the actual results.

This article is excerpted from the book "The path to exploratory testing practices"

Shi Liang, Gao Xiang

Published by Electronic Industry Publishing House


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