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Software Testing, 4th Edition by Paul C. Jorgensen

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Chapter 13

Integration Testing

In September 1999, the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed after successfully traveling 416 million miles in 41 weeks. It disappeared just as it was to begin orbiting Mars. The fault should have been revealed by integration testing: Lockheed Martin Astronautics used acceleration data in English units (pounds), while the Jet Propulsion Laboratory did its calculations with metric units (newtons). NASA announced a $50,000 project to discover how this could have happened (Fordahl, 1999). They should have read this chapter.

Of the three distinct levels of software testing—unit, integration, and system—integration testing is the least well understood of these; hence in practice, it is the phase most poorly done. This ...

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