[SciPy-dev] Any advice on testing scientific algorithms?

Fernando Perez Fernando.Perez at colorado.edu
Thu Jan 26 16:13:08 CST 2006


Jonathan Taylor wrote:
> I am wondering if any of you have thoughts on how to test scientific
> algorithms.  For example, an algorithm that tries to learn some sort
> of probalistic model.
> 
> The only thing that really comes to mind is regression testing.  Any
> suggestions here?
> Would I just print the output to output.txt once, and then as a test,
> rerun and make sure I get the same output.txt?
> I suppose I would have to use a fixed seed, to make sure that I get
> the same results.  Will floating point numbers show up differently on
> different architectures?

Sorry that I can't give a longer answer right now, but the scipy test suite is 
a  good place to look at for pointers.  It also contains a bunch of utilities 
for testing, including comparisons for arrays with controlled floating point 
accuracy.  I use those a lot, they're quite handy.

Cheers,

f




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