Black-Box Testing Technique for Information Visualization. Sequencing Constraints with Low-Level Interactions


  • Martín Leonardo Larrea Laboratorio de Investigación y Desarrollo en Visualización y Computación Gráfica, VyGLab, Departamento de Ciencias e Ingeniería de la Computación, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina


visualization systems and software, Software/Program Verification


The software development process has matured significantly over the past decade. We are currently in a state where the need for the verification and validation of the product under development is unquestionable. Visualizations, as software products, must go through such verification and validation control. At the implementation level, a visualization software is no different from any other software, its source code can be verified and validated by using any available white-box technique. The usability studies and controlled experiments are helpful to understand how the user perceives and uses the visualization. However, at an interaction level, a visualization software is not like any other software. Most interactions on a traditional software, are based on buttons and text fields while on a visualization, the interactions are mostly based on zooming, selecting and filtering visual elements. The black-box techniques found in the literature, also known as functional tests, are not suitable for this context. This paper describes a black-box technique tailored for information visualization implementations. The technique is built on constraints imposed over the sequences of low-level interactions available in the visualization and the User Action Notation.


Download data is not yet available.


[1] Kirby, Robert M., and Cláudio T. Silva. “The need for verifiable visualization”. Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE 28.5, 78-83, 2008.
[2] Banerjee, Ishan, et al. ”Graphical user interface (GUI) testing: Systematic mapping and repository.” Information and Software Technology 55.10, 1679-1694, 2013.
[3] Chang, Tsung-Hsiang, Tom Yeh, and Robert C. Miller. ”GUI testing using computer vision.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2010.
[4] Hartson, H. Rex, Antonio C. Siochi, and Deborah Hix. ”The UAN: A user-oriented representation for direct manipulation interface designs.” ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) 8.3, 181-203, 1990.
[5] Appert, Caroline, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon, and Wendy E. Mackay. ”Context matters: Evaluating interaction techniques with the CIS model.” People and Computers XVIIIâĂŤDesign for Life. Springer London, 279-295, 2005.
[6] A. C. Siochi and H. R. Hartson. Task-oriented representation of asynchronous user interfaces. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’89), K. Bice and C. Lewis (Eds.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 183-188, 1989.
[7] Ferriday, C. “A Review Paper on Decision Table-Based Testing”. Swansea University, CS339-2007, 2007.
[8] Seo, K. I., Choi, E. M. “Comparison of five black-box testing methods for object-oriented software”. In Software Engineering Research, Management and Applications, 213-220, 2006.
[9] Khan, Mohd Ehmer. “Different approaches to white box testing technique for finding errors”. International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications 5.3, 1-14, 2011.
[10] Kovalerchuk, Boris, and James Schwing. “Visual and Spatial Analysis”. Advances In Data Mining, Reasoning, And Problem Solving, 2005.
[11] Keller, Peter R., and Mary M. Keller. ”Visual cues: practical data visualization”. Vol. 2. Los Alamitos, CA: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1993.
[12] Shneiderman, Ben. ”The eyes have it: A task by data type taxonomy for information visualizations.” Visual Languages, 1996. Proceedings., IEEE Symposium on. IEEE, 1996.
[13] Jorgensen, Paul C. Software testing: craftsman’s approach. CRC Press, 2013.
[14] Weileder, Stephan. Test models and coverage criteria for automatic model-based test generation with UML state machines. Diss. Humboldt University of Berlin, 2010.
[15] Friske, Mario, Bernd-Holger Schlingloff, and Stephan Weiçleder. ”Composition of Model-based Test Coverage Criteria.” MBEES. 2008.
[16] Yuan, Xiaojun, Xiangmin Zhang, and Alex Trofimovsky. ”Testing visualization on the use of information systems.” Proceedings of the third symposium on Information interaction in context. ACM, 2010.
[17] Koshman, Sherry. ”Testing user interaction with a prototype visualizationâĂŘbased information retrieval system.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 56.8, 824-833, 2005.
[18] Aerts Jeroen , Keith C. Clarke, and Alex D. Keuper. ”Testing popular visualization techniques for representing model uncertainty.” Cartography and Geographic Information Science 30.3, 249-261, 2003.
[19] Etiene, Tiago, et al. ”Verifiable visualization for isosurface extraction.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 15.6, 1227-1234, 2009.
[20] Etiene, Tiago, et al. ”Topology verification for isosurface extraction.” IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 18.6, 952-965, 2012.
[21] Etiene, Tiago, et al. ”Verifying volume rendering using discretization error analysis.” IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics 20.1, 140-154, 2014.
[22] Hellmann, Theodore D., Ali Hosseini-Khayat, and Frank Maurer. ”Agile interaction design and test-driven development of user interfacesâĂŞa literature review.” Agile Software Development. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 185-201, 2010.
[23] Memon, Atif M., and Bao N. Nguyen. ”Advances in automated model-based system testing of software applications with a GUI front-end.” Advances in Computers, 121-162, 2010.
[24] Kirani, Shekhar H., and W. T. Tsai. Specification and verification of object-oriented programs. Diss. University of Minnesota, 1994.
[25] Yi, Ji Soo, et al. ”Toward a deeper understanding of the role of interaction in information visualization.” Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on 13.6, 1224-1231, 2007.
[26] Daniels, F. J., and K-C. Tai. ”Measuring the effectiveness of method test sequences derived from sequencing constraints.” Technology of Object-Oriented Languages and Systems, 1999. TOOLS 30 Proceedings. IEEE, 1999.
[27] Havre, Susan, Beth Hetzler, and Lucy Nowell. ”ThemeRiver: Visualizing theme changes over time.” Information Visualization, 2000. InfoVis 2000. IEEE Symposium on. IEEE, 2000.




How to Cite

Larrea, M. L. (2017). Black-Box Testing Technique for Information Visualization. Sequencing Constraints with Low-Level Interactions. Journal of Computer Science and Technology, 17(01), p. 37–48. Retrieved from



Original Articles