From operational to declarative specifications using a genetic algorithm
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"In specification-based test generation, sometimes having a formal specification is not sufficient, since the specification may be in a different formalism from that required by the generation approach being used. In this paper, we deal with this problem specifically in the context in which, while having a formal specification in the form of an operational invariant written in a sequential programming language, one needs, for test generation, a declarative invariant in a logical formalism. We propose a genetic algorithm that given a catalog of common properties of invariants, such as acyclicity, sortedness and balance, attempts to evolve a conjunction of these that most accurately approximates an original operational specification. We present some details of the algorithm, and an experimental evaluation based on a benchmark of data structures, for which we evolve declarative logical invariants from operational ones."