Browse Prior Art Database

Intermediate or Complementary Machine

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000086560D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Gatrell, M: AUTHOR

Abstract

In an article entitled "General Purpose Interactive System Evaluation Tool", by C. D. Allen, J. L. Campbell, R. Cork, M. Gatrell and L. K. Griffiths, appearing in the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 1976, pp. 694-696, there is described a method of testing an interactive system comprising three main functions, a theoretical machine, a next input generator and a complementary machine. This article describes in more detail the operation of the complementary machine.

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Intermediate or Complementary Machine

In an article entitled "General Purpose Interactive System Evaluation Tool", by C. D. Allen, J. L. Campbell, R. Cork, M. Gatrell and L. K. Griffiths, appearing in the IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 2, July 1976, pp. 694-696, there is described a method of testing an interactive system comprising three main functions, a theoretical machine, a next input generator and a complementary machine. This article describes in more detail the operation of the complementary machine.

An automatic test sequence generator for interactive systems needs to store details of input and outputs in a highly condensed form. They must be expanded before use, possibly in a context where the same information must be inserted into input and expected output.

Many interactive systems respond to certain inputs by issuing prompts, intended as requests for further information. A test of a single function may then involve a string of inputs, predetermined once the function is entered on the first input. In a description of the system such strings may be condensed into a single input with advantage. In use, such entries must cause a multistage conversation with the system. Where a number of different responses to an input are possible depending on the fine detail of the system state, the testing of the system can be considerably simplified by treating all such distinct outputs as instances of a single output type, and ignoring the distinctions in the verification of the output.

A single program - the complementary machine - connects the test generation system and the system being tested. It is loaded initially with information on the abbreviations used for system inputs, the prompts and expected responses that may arise from certain inputs, and the details of distinct outputs treated alike, as outpu...