Testing is the de facto technique for correctness verification and validation in software development. An important aspect of testing is the ability to tell whether the execution results agree with the expected outcomes. The mechanism to determine the correctness of the results is called a test oracle. Unfortunately, such a mechanism often does not always exist, or may exist but cannot be feasibly used, which is known as the oracle problem. This is a major challenge to software testers, severely curtailing the application of testing approaches and methods to practical situations.
Metamorphic testing (MT) is a technique that exploits the relationships among the inputs and outputs of multiple program executions. These relationships are called metamorphic relations (MRs). MT has been proved highly effective in testing programs with the oracle problem, for which the correctness of individual output is difficult to determine.
Since the introduction of MT, the number of research activities surrounding this technique has grown immensely with numerous applications in various domains such as web services and applications, computer graphics, embedded systems, simulation, and bioinformatics, among others. There is also an increasing trend in domains such as compilers and artificial intelligence-related topics like autonomous vehicles, where MT is being recognized as a key technique. Since the First International Workshop in Metamorphic Testing in 2016, this series of workshops has been held annually, and has been run in conjunction with the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).
The aim of this special issue is to document new contributions in MT. We are looking for high-quality submissions on the latest challenges, breakthroughs, and future trends. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
Emerging and innovative applications of MT (e.g., Artificial Intelligence).
Guidelines and techniques for the construction of MRs or MT test cases.
Prioritization and minimization of MRs or MT test cases.
Quality assessment mechanism for MRs or MT test cases (e.g., metrics).
Automated generation of potential MRs.
Combination of MRs.
Formal methods involving MRs.
Case studies from practice.
Integration/comparison with other techniques.
Novel applications, perspectives, or theories inspired by MT.
Submissions from academia and industry reporting original research results or practical experience are welcome. We also encourage submission of extended papers from the workshop series on Metamorphic Testing (ICSE MET).
All submissions should consider the practical application of the idea through case studies, experiments, empirical validation, or systematic comparisons with other approaches already in practice. Surveys and (Systematic) Literature Reviews are out of the scope of the special issue and will be desk-rejected.
Paper submission deadline: October 30, 2020
First-round notification: February 28, 2021
Submission deadline of the final revised version: July 31, 2021
Xiaoyuan Xie (lead guest editor), Wuhan University, China
Pak-Lok Poon, Central Queensland University, Australia
Sergio Segura, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
EDITORS IN CHIEF
P. Avgeriou and D. Shepherd
SPECIAL ISSUES EDITORS
W.K. Chan and Raffaela Mirandola
All manuscripts and any supplementary material should be submitted through the Elsevier Editorial System for the Journal of Systems and Software at http://ees.elsevier.com/jss/. Follow the submission instructions given on this site. Authors should select “VSI: Metamorphic Testing” from the “Choose Article Type” pull-down menu during the submission process.
All manuscripts should comply with the journal’s submission guidelines. Detailed author guidelines are available at http://www.elsevier.com/journals/journal-of-systems-and-software/0164-1212/guide-for-authors.
Manuscripts must not have been published previously or be currently under consideration for publication in any other journal or conference. Extended versions of previous papers should be extended by at least 30% of new material different from the original work.
Submissions will be reviewed by at least three experts in the field. The primary evaluation criteria are high-quality of the submission, innovative aspects in the domain of metamorphic testing, practical applications of proposed idea(s), and thorough evaluation. The guest editors in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief and the Special Issues Editor will make final decisions.
If you have any questions concerning the topics and scope of this special issue, please do not hesitate to contact the lead guest-editor at xxie.whu.edu.cn.