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A methodology for testing spreadsheets and other packages used in metrology.

Cook, H R; Cox, M G; Dainton, M P; Harris, P M (1999) A methodology for testing spreadsheets and other packages used in metrology. NPL Report. CISE 25/99

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Abstract

A general methodology for testing the numerical accuracy of scientific software is presented. The basis of the approach is the design and use of reference data sets and corresponding reference results to undertake black-box testing. Reference data sets and results are generated in a manner consistent with the functional specification of the problem addressed by the test software. In order to make the testing representative of a particular metrology application, and to consider “fitness for purpose” of the test software, data sets are produced with application-specific properties and various “degrees of difficulty”. The results returned by the software for the reference data are compared objectively with the reference results. Quality metrics are used for this purpose that account for the key aspects of the problem.
Complementary tests that do not require the availability of reference data are also described. These include consistency and continuity checks, spot checks against tabulated values, and checks of solution characterisations.
This report constitutes part of the deliverable of Project 2.1 “Testing Spreadsheets and
Other Packages Used in Metrology” within the UK Department of Industry’s National
Measurement System Software Support for Metrology Programme 1998-2001.

Item Type: Report/Guide (NPL Report)
NPL Report No.: CISE 25/99
Subjects: Mathematics and Scientific Computing
Mathematics and Scientific Computing > Software Engineering
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2018 13:18
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/1120

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