by Dinesh Thakur

A test oracle is a mechanism; different from the program itself that can be used to check the correctness of the output of the program for the test cases. Conceptually, we can consider testing a process in which the test cases are given to the test oracle and the program under testing.

 

The output of the two is then compared to determine if the program behaved correctly for test cases. To help the oracle determine the correct behavior, it is important that the behavior of the system or component be unambiguously specified and that the specification itself is error free.

 

There are some systems where oracles are automatically generated from specifications of programs or modules. With such oracles, we are assured that the output of the oracle is consistent with the specifications.