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Monday, September 20, 2010

What is the possible test approach for simulation system ?

A simulation system's primary responsibility is to replicate the behavior of the real system as accurately as possible. Therefore, a good place to start creating a test plan would be to understand the behavior of the real system.

- Subjective Testing:
It mainly depends on an expert's opinion. An expert is a person who is proficient and experienced in the system under test. Conducting the test involves test runs of the simulation by the expert and then the expert evaluates and validates the results based on some criteria. Advantage of this approach is that it can test those conditions which cannot be tested objectively. Disadvantage is that the evaluation of the system is based on the expert's opinion which may differ from expert to expert.
- Objective Testing:
It is mainly used in the systems where the data can be recorded while the simulation is running. This testing technique relies on the application of statistical and automated methods to the data collected.
Statistical methods are used to provide an insight into the accuracy of the simulation. These methods include hypothesis testing, data plots, principle component analysis and cluster analysis.
Automated testing requires a knowledge base of valid outcomes for various runs of simulation. The knowledge base is created by domain experts of the simulation system being tested. The data collected in various test runs is compared against this knowledge base to automatically validate the system under test. An advantage of this kind of testing is that the system can continually be regression tested as it is being developed.

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