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Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Introduction to special section on software testing

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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