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test and evaluate heterogeneous data processing pipelines

Project description

Note: testkraut is still in its infancy – some of what is written here could still be an anticipation of the near future.

Anyway, this is nevertheless a framework for software testing. That being said, testkraut tries to minimize the overlap with the scopes of unit testing, regression testing, and continuous integration testing. Instead, it aims to complement these kinds of testing, and is able to re-use them, or can be integrated with them.

In a nutshell testkraut helps to facilitate statistical analysis of test results. In particular, it focuses on two main scenarios:

  1. Comparing results of a single (test) implementation across different or changing computational environments (think: different operating systems, different hardware, or the same machine before an after a software upgrade).
  2. Comparing results of different (test) implementations generating similar output from identical input (think: performance of various signal detection algorithms).

While such things can be done using other available tools as well, testkraut aims to provide a lightweight (hence portable), yet comprehensive description of a test run. Such a description allows for decoupling test result generation and analysis – opening up the opportunity to “crowd-source” software testing efforts, and aggregate results beyond the scope of a single project, lab, company, or site.

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Prototypes of a testkraut user

The concerned scientist

This scientist came up with a sophisticated data analysis pipeline, consisting of many pieces of software from different vendors. It appears to work correctly (for now). But this scientist is afraid to upgrade any software on the machine, because it might break the pipeline. Rigorous tests would have helped, but “there was no time”. testkraut can help to (semi-automatically) assess the longitudinal stability of analysis results.

The thoughtful software developer

For any individual software developer or project it is almost impossible to confirm proper functioning of their software on all possible computing environments. testkraut can help generate informative performance reports that can be send back to a developer and offer a more comprehensive assessment of cross-platform performance.

The careful “downstream”

A packager for a software distribution needs to apply a patch to some software to improve its integration into the distribution environment. Of course, such a patch should not have a negative impact on the behavior of the software. testkraut can help to make a comparative assessment to alert the packager if something starts to behave in unexpected ways.

Wanna help?

If you think it would be worthwhile to contribute to this project your input would be highly appreciated. Please report issues, send feature-requests, and pull-request without hesitation!

Why this name?

The original aim for this project was to achieve “crowd-sourcing” of software testing efforts. “kraut” is obviously almost a semi-homonym of “crowd”, while at the same time indicating that this software spent its infancy at the Institute of Psychology Magdeburg, Germany.

Project details

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