Automated reasoning is an area of computer science, cognitive science, and mathematical logic dedicated to understanding different aspects of reasoning. The study of automated reasoning helps produce computer programs that allow computers to reason completely, or nearly completely, automatically. Although automated reasoning is considered a sub-field of artificial intelligence, it also has connections with theoretical computer science, and even philosophy.
The most developed subareas of automated reasoning are automated theorem proving (and the less automated but more pragmatic subfield of interactive theorem proving) and automated proof checking (viewed as guaranteed correct reasoning under fixed assumptions). Extensive work has also been done in reasoning by analogy induction and abduction.
Other important topics include reasoning under uncertainty and non-monotonic reasoning. An important part of the uncertainty field is that of argumentation, where further constraints of minimality and consistency are applied on top of the more standard automated deduction. John Pollock's OSCAR system is an example of an automated argumentation system that is more specific than being just an automated theorem prover.
Tools and techniques of automated reasoning include the classical logics and calculi, fuzzy logic, Bayesian inference, reasoning with maximal entropy and a large number of less formal ad hoc techniques.
In computer science, program analysis is the process of automatically analyzing the behavior of computer programs regarding a property such as correctness, robustness, safety and liveness. Program analysis focuses on two major areas: program optimization and program correctness. The first focuses on improving the program’s performance while reducing the resource usage while the latter focuses on ensuring that the program does what it is supposed to do.
Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects), and verifying that the software product is fit for use.
Software testing involves the execution of a software component or system component to evaluate one or more properties of interest. In general, these properties indicate the extent to which the component or system under test:
- meets the requirements that guided its design and development,
- responds correctly to all kinds of inputs,
- performs its functions within an acceptable time,
- it is sufficiently usable,
- can be installed and run in its intended environments, and
- achieves the general result its stakeholders desire.
As the number of possible tests for even simple software components is practically infinite, all software testing uses some strategy to select tests that are feasible for the available time and resources. As a result, software testing typically (but not exclusively) attempts to execute a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects). The job of testing is an iterative process as when one bug is fixed, it can illuminate other, deeper bugs, or can even create new ones.
Software testing can provide objective, independent information about the quality of software and risk of its failure to users or sponsors.
Software testing can be conducted as soon as executable software (even if partially complete) exists. The overall approach to software development often determines when and how testing is conducted. For example, in a phased process, most testing occurs after system requirements have been defined and then implemented in testable programs. In contrast, under an agile approach, requirements, programming, and testing are often done concurrently.