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Testing with Functional Reference Implementations

By Pieter Koopman and Rinus Plasmeijer


Abstract. This paper discusses our approach to test programs that determine which candidates are elected in the Scottish Single Transferable Vote (STV) elections. Due to the lack of properties suited for modelbased testing, we have implemented a reference implementation in a pure functional programming language. Our tests revealed issues in the law regulating these elections as well as the programs implementing the rules that are offered for certification. Hence, certification by testing with a reference implementation is able to reveal problems in the software to be certified. Functional programming languages appeared to be an excellent tool to implement reference implementations. The reference implementation was developed quickly and none of the differences found was due to an error in the reference implementation.

Year: 2011
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