Software Testing - Symbolic Execution
What is Symbolic Execution?
Symbolic execution is a software testing technique that is useful to aid the generation of test data and in proving the program quality.
Steps to use Symbolic Execution:
The execution requires a selection of paths that are exercised by a set of data values. A program, which is executed using actual data, results in the output of a series of values.
In symbolic execution, the data is replaced by symbolic values with set of expressions, one expression per output variable.
The common approach for symbolic execution is to perform an analysis of the program, resulting in the creation of a flow graph.
The flowgraph identifies the decision points and the assignments associated with each flow. By traversing the flow graph from an entry point, a list of assignment statements and branch predicates is produced.
Issues with Symbolic Execution:
Symbolic execution cannot proceed if the number of iterations in the loop is known.
The second issue is the invocation of any out-of-line code or module calls.
Symbolic execution cannot be used with arrays.
The symbolic execution cannot identify of infeasible paths.
Symbolic Execution Application:
Path domain checking
Test Data generation