The ACTS FAQ

This page contains answers to some commonly asked questions about the Advanced Combinatorial Testing Systems tool.

Table of Contents

1. What is ACTS?

2. Is ACTS the same tool as FireEye?

3. Which platforms does ACTS work on?

4. Does ACTS support the feature of test and/or combination seeding?

5. Which strength option should be selected when one or more relations have been specified in the system configuration?

6. Does ACTS support constraints?

7. What is a Don’t Care value (i.e., a value represented by * in a test set)?

8. Which charset should an XML input file be encoded?

9. Can the same value appear for more than once in the domain of a parameter (i.e., the list of possible values of a parameter)?

10. How to obtain technical and/or other assistance on ACTS?

 

1. What is ACTS?

Answer: ACTS is a test generation tool for constructing t-way combinatorial test sets. ACTS allows the user to define a System Under Test (SUT) with constraints and relations. Currently, it supports t-way test set generation with t ranging from 1 to 6. Combinatorial testing has been shown very effective in detecting faults that are caused by unexpected interactions between different contributing factors. ACTS is developed in Java, and provides three interfaces, including command line, GUI, and API.

 

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2. Is ACTS the same tool as FireEye?

Answer: Yes. The ACTS tool was called FireEye prior to February 2009. The name FireEye had to be dropped as it is a registered trademark symbol.

 

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3. Which platforms does ACTS work on?

Answer: ACTS requires J2SE 6.0 or above. ACTS has been mainly developed and tested in Windows. However, the portability feature of Java shall allow the tool to be executed in other Operating Systems such as Linux and UNIX.

 

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4. Does ACTS support the feature of test and/or combination seeding?

Answer: Yes. The feature of test and/or combination seeding ensures that some user-specified tests and/or combinations to appear in the resulting test set. ACTS supports two test generation modes, i.e., scratch and extend. This feature is supported in ACTS by the extend mode where the user can specify seed test cases and/or combinations in the existing test set to be extended.

 

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5. Which strength option should be selected when one or more relations have been specified in the system configuration?

Answer: The strength option, “Mixed Strengths”, must be selected in order for the specified relations to take effect during test generation. If any other strength option is selected, the specified relations will be ignored during test generation.

 

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6. Does ACTS support constraints?

Answer: Yes, but constraints are supported only for the IPOG and IPOG-F algorithms. The other algorithms, i.e., IPOG-F2, IPOG-D, Base Choice, do not currently support constraints.

 

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7. What is a Don’t Care value (i.e., a value represented by * in a test set)?

Answer: A Don't Care value indicates that this value can be any valid value (of a given parameter) without affecting the t-way coverage. Note that the symbol * is reserved to represent a Don’t Care value and thus cannot be a regular parameter value. Also note that ACTS provides a build option, i.e., “Randomize Don’t Care Values”, which if selected, replaces all the Don’t Care values with randomly selected valid values (of corresponding parameters) in the resulting test set.

 

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8. Which charset should an XML input file be encoded?

Answer: The default charset of an XML input file is UTF-8, i.e., <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>. Please always make sure the charset encoding of an XML input file is correct, especially when converting TXT to XML. Otherwise, ACTS would fail to read the file and return an exception.

 

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9. Can the same value appear for more than once in the domain of a parameter (i.e., the list of possible values of a parameter)?

Answer: No. Each value must be unique in the domain of a parameter.

 

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10. How to obtain technical and/or other assistance on ACTS?

Answer: Please contact one or more of the following people.

NIST: D. Richard Kuhn (d.kuhn@nist.gov), Raghu N. Kacker (raghu.kacker@nist.gov);

UT Arlington: Feng Duan (feng.duan@mavs.uta.edu), Jeff Lei (ylei@cse.uta.edu).

 

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Author: Feng Duan

Last Updated: 11/21/14