Name: Camm Maguire (email_not_shown)
Date: 05/21/04-11:58:10 PM Z

Greetings! Just a thought here -- luckily all this is on top of lisp,
and, in principle, its 'code is data' feature would allow one to write
a walker which would generate a list of invocations guaranteed to
trigger every branch, or even specified levels of branch
combinations. Someone told me once they've seen such a walker for a
certain application, so the idea is not completely vaporware, but I'd
imagine the test list would grow exponentially quite quickly.

Just a thought.

Take care,

root <> writes:

> Bob,
> > Test cases.
> >
> > While this does not *prove* the correctness of the code in a
> > mathematical sense, it does in a monte-carlo sense. I note that both
> > maxima and axiom have test suites.
> >
> > I do not think new mathematical code or subsystems should be accepted
> > unless they are accompanied by a thorough test suite.
> I've been collecting test cases from different computer algebra systems.
> The effort is called CATS (Computer Algebra Test Suite).
> One of the problems with current systems, like Axiom, is that people
> write some algebra then write some test cases. The test cases are not
> comprehensive, don't test corner cases, and don't test failure modes.
> And, most egregious is, they are not documented. The tests given
> an answer but is it the right answer? So current test cases are only
> really useful as regression tests looking for what's broken.
> So the idea is to collect the various test suites, document the
> underlying math and set up pamphlet files which contain code for
> each of the various systems. You can get the Axiom code pile with
> the CATS work using the tla from Gnu-arch.
> The idea is to develop a test suite that would be similar to the
> NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) classification
> scheme for numerical software but this time for symbolic software.
> Currently there is no classification scheme and no agreed-upon
> test suite.
> There are few enough computational mathematicians. We shouldn't waste
> their time duplicating tests in areas that others have already done.
> Besides, tests are best when written by others :-)
> Thus, CATS.
> Tim

Camm Maguire	
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."  --  Baha'u'llah

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