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Towards a Model of Testers' Cognitive Processes: Software Testing as a Problem Solving Approach

Fulltext:


Authors:

Eduard Paul Enoiu, Gerald Tukseferi , Robert Feldt

Publication Type:

Conference/Workshop Paper

Venue:

IEEE International Workshop on Human and Social Aspects of Software Quality


Abstract

Software testing is a complex, intellectual activity based (at least) on analysis, reasoning, decision making, abstraction and collaboration performed in a highly demanding environment. Naturally, it uses and allocates multiple cognitive resources in software testers. However, while a cognitive psychology perspective is increasingly used in the general software engineering literature, it has yet to find its place in software testing. To the best of our knowledge, no theory of software testers’ cognitive processes exists. Here, we take a first step towards such a theory by presenting a cognitive model of software testing based on how problem solving is conceptualized in cognitive psychology. Our approach is to instantiate a general problem solving process for the specific problem of creating test cases. We then propose a controlled experiment for testing our cognitive test design model. The experiment makes use of verbal protocol analysis to understand the mechanisms by which human testers choose, design, implement and evaluate test cases and test design strategies. An initial evaluation was then performed with five students as subjects. The results support a problem solving-based model of test design for capturing testers’ cognitive processes.

Bibtex

@inproceedings{Enoiu5864,
author = {Eduard Paul Enoiu and Gerald Tukseferi and Robert Feldt},
title = {Towards a Model of Testers' Cognitive Processes: Software Testing as a Problem Solving Approach},
month = {November},
year = {2020},
booktitle = {IEEE International Workshop on Human and Social Aspects of Software Quality },
url = {http://www.es.mdh.se/publications/5864-}
}