Software

Evolutionary Testing of Autonomous Software Agents

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Executive Summary

A system built in terms of autonomous software agents may require even greater correctness assurance than one that is merely reacting to the immediate control of its users. Agents make substantial decisions for themselves, so thorough testing is an important consideration. However, autonomy also makes testing harder; by their nature, autonomous agents may react in different ways to the same inputs over time, because, for instance they have changeable goals and knowledge. For this reason, the authors argue that testing of autonomous agents requires a procedure that caters for a wide range of test case contexts, and that can search for the most demanding of these test cases, even when they are not apparent to the agents' developers.

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