Meeting the Requirements and Living Up to Expectations

Author(s): Kristina Winbladh, Thomas A. Alspaugh, Debra J. Richardson, and Rand Waltzman
Venue: Technical Report UCI-ISR-07-1, Institute for Software Research, University of California, Irvine
Date: 2007

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Class/Experience Level: Professional
Data Collection Method: Observation


This paper presents some research and an experience reporting using a technique to drive acceptance testing directly from requirements documents, in the form of goals and scenarios. An objective of this work is to utilize the natural symbolic relationship between requirements and testing to produce systems that better satisfy stakeholder needs. The stakeholder needs, however, are often presented at a high-level not suited for unit testing. As a result this paper presents a technique of using high-level system goals and XML-based scenarios to drive testing. This process is made up of the following four components:

  • Test design – Define the goals and scenarios for the system
  • Test generation – Create the tests from the scenarios
  • Test execution – Run the generated tests
  • Test evaluation – Evaluate the performance of the tests

After using this requirements infused test process, the authors were able demonstrate that the computer system did satisfy all of its acceptance criteria. This paper described the experience of using this process on real-world system, and for the most part things went well. The results showed that there is very much promise for using this technique, especially early in the development process to identify mistakes before it becomes too costly to fix them.