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Back-to-Back Testing a Soft Constraint Model for a Smart Exhibition Space

Alexander Schiendorfer, Benedikt Eberhardinger, Michael Wißner, Wolfgang Reif, Elisabeth André

Obtaining a constraint model faithful to real world requirements is hard and requires considerable expertise. It is even harder to obtain an efficiently solvable constraint model as a result of several reformulation and refinement steps. Most often, tool support is hardly available to guide the modeler. Similar problems are faced in the field of software testing, where a program's correctness with respect to a specification has to be confirmed. There, a test suite consists of a set of test inputs and expected outputs. Using a folklore technique in assessing the quality of a model (assigning a fixed known set of values to a problem's variables) and testing whether it is identified correctly as solution or non-solution, we can apply many (automated) software testing techniques to improve correct modeling and reformulation of constraint programs. With little effort, many of the existing techniques can then be applied to constraint programs. We present our findings with a real-world problem embedded in a smart exhibition space, present coverage criteria designed for constraint programs, and illustrate model faults that could be found using very simple testing techniques.
published 25.07.2015 in: Cork Proceedings of the 14th International Workshop on „Constraint Modelling and Reformulation“ (ModRef'15) in conjunction with CP 2015


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