Software plays an integral part of our daily lives because of its near universal influence on our increasingly technology-dependent society. Within the past decades, we have utilized software to improve our efficiency, reliability, and safety in production, business, life, etc. Software testing is the primary approach used to ensure the high quality of software. A significant portion of the development cost is spent on testing. A large part of this problem is not the amount of testing that is performed on software, but “who” the software is tested by, and “how” these testers do it. Therefore, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to apply software testing techniques. To promote advanced software testing theory, techniques, and tools, the IEEE Reliability Society Dallas Chapter and the UT Dallas Computer Science Department hosted the 2nd Annual IEEE Software Testing Contest on March 30, 2019. The goal of the contest was to reduce the gap between the knowledge learned in the classrooms and the standard techniques applied in industry, as well as to give attendees a hands-on opportunity to design test cases satisfying some widely accepted criteria.
UT Dallas CS Professors chaired the event, Dr. Eric Wong, the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Transactions on Reliability (TRel or TR) and the Founding Director of the UT Dallas Advanced Research Center for Software Testing and Quality Assurance, which is an NSF-sponsored Industry/University Cooperative Research site affiliated with the nationwide Security and Software Engineering Research Center (S2ERC), and Dr. Jey Veerasamy, Director of the Center for Computer Science Education & Outreach (CCSEO). In addition, the event was assisted by Dr. Wong’s PhD students and CCSEO student workers.
The all-day contest was split into two parts. The first part was a 2-hour tutorial where attendees learned how to configure their laptops for the competition correctly and learned how to use JUnit and the Mooctest.net online testing platform. The second part of the contest was the actual 3-hour competition which required contestants to design test cases with specific input values based on the given specifications to test two Java programs.
The ranking of all the contestants was based on the quality of test cases they generated, which was measured in terms of a combination of the statement and branch coverage, and the mutation score achieved. If test cases from multiple contestants achieved the same coverage, contestants with fewer test cases had a higher ranking than those with more test cases.
There were more than 80 registrants. Among all the participating contestants, winners of the college group were:
- First Place: Ali Ghanbari (UT Dallas)
- Second place: Akhila Perabe (UT Dallas)
- Third Place: Josh Wiedemeier (UT Dallas)
Winners of the high school group were:
- First Place: Jonathan Browne (Coram Deo Academy)
- Second Place: Rohith Karkala (Coppell High School)
- Third Place: Chaitanya Eranki (Coppell High School)
Every contestant received a certificate of completion provided by the CS Department of UT Dallas and the Dallas Chapter of IEEE Reliability Society. The first three places also received gifts from the UT Dallas CS Department.
Dr. Wong and Veerasamy would like to especially acknowledge Mooctest Inc. for making their online testing platform available to the contestants. Furthermore, the event would not have been possible if not for the assistance of UT Dallas CS Professors Dr. Lingming Zhang and Dr. Mark Paulk, and Professor Renee Bryce from the University of North Texas who were on hand throughout the contest.
The following students and visiting scholars assisted in organizing the tutorial and managing registration and other logistics for the contest: Linghuan Hu, Xuelin Li, Shou-Yu Lee, Dongcheng Li, Shuo Li, Zizhao Chen, Nikhil Nathan, Fenny Mahajan,Austin Luong, Saloni Shivadasani, Manindra Anantaneni, as well as Siwei Zhou (visiting scholar from Wuhan University of Technology, China), and Zhao Li (visiting scholar from China Three Gorges University).
The Dallas Chapter of the IEEE Reliability Society is currently seeking additional sponsorship for future software testing contests. This is beneficial to both students and sponsors. With company sponsorship, students will be more motived to participate in the contest, and company sponsors will be given an opportunity to identify top-notch students as potential employees. Those who are interested in becoming a sponsor can contact Dr. Jey Veerasamy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT THE UT DALLAS COMPUTER SCIENCE DEPARTMENT
The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 2,800 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,000 master’s students, 190 Ph.D. students, 52 tenure-track faculty members, and 41 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2018. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.