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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 <daly@idsi.net> writes:

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

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