Every large software development requires a process to move from requirements through design, implementation, testing and maintenance. Although tools and methodologies exist to carry out each of these steps, the degree to which these tools are applied is usually dictated by the size of the software product. The Capability Maturity Model developed by the Carnegie Melon Software Engineering Institute defines five levels to the software process. For the most part, this discipline is applicable to large software development projects that have a separate software quality assurance and testing organization. There are smaller projects that do not have a separate organization, but still need to apply sound software testing to achieve low defect software.
In this paper we describe a practical, automatic software testing process for a medium sized software package. The software is the Visualization Toolkit http://www.kitware.com/vtk.html, an open source, C++ class library consisting of about 600 classes. Vtk's class library supports visualization, graphics and imaging. It runs on multiple vendor Unix platforms and Windows 95/98/NT.
Bill Lorensen is a Graphics Engineer in the Electronic Systems Laboratory at GE's Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady, NY. He has over 30 years of experience in computer graphics and software engineering. Bill is currently working on algorithms for 3D medical graphics and scientific visualization. He co-developed (with Harvey Cline) the marching cubes and dividing cubes surface extraction algorithms, two popular isosurface extraction algorithms. His other interests include computer animation, information display, and object-oriented software tools.
Bill is the author or co-author of over 60 technical articles on topics ranging from finite element pre/postprocessing, 3D medical imaging, computer animation and object-oriented design. He is a co-author of "Object-Oriented Modeling and Design" published by Prentice Hall, 1991. He is also co-author with Will Schroeder and Ken Martin of the book "The Visualization Toolkit: An Object-Oriented Approach to 3D Graphics" published by Prentice Hall in November 1997. The text describes vtk, an open source visualization C++ class library. He gives frequent tutorials at the annual SIGGRAPH and IEEE Visualization conferences.
Bill holds twenty six US Patents on medical and visualization algorithms. In 1991, he was named a Coolidge Fellow, the highest scientific honor at GE's Corporate R&D. Prior to joining GE in 1978, he was a Mathematician at the US Army Benet Weapons Laboratory where he worked on computer graphics software for structural analysis. He has a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.