Exploring metamorphic testing for fake-news detection software: a case study

Lin Miao, Dave Towey, Yingrui Ma, Tsong Yueh Chen, Zhi Quan Zhou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Concerns have been growing over fake news and its impact. Software that can automatically detect fake news is becoming more popular. However, the accuracy and reliability of such fake-news detection software remains questionable, partly due to a lack of testing and verification. Testing this kind of software may face the oracle problem, which refers to difficulty (or inability) of identifying the correctness of the software's output in a reasonable amount of time. Metamorphic testing (MT) has a record of effectively alleviating the oracle problem, and has been successfully applied to testing fake-news detection software. This paper reports on a study, extending previous work, exploring the use of MT for fake-news detection software. The study includes new metamorphic relations and additional experimental results and analysis. Some alternative MR-generation approaches are also explored. The study targets software where the output is a real/fake news decision, enhancing the applicability of MT to current fake-news detection software. The paper also explores the impact of the prediction accuracy of the fake-news detection software on the MT process. The study demonstrates the validity and applicability of MT to fake-news detection software. The prediction accuracy of the software has a greater impact on MT experiments with greater changes between the source and follow-up inputs, and less dependence on prediction stability. Some possible factors affecting the experimental results are discussed, and directions for future work are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2023 IEEE 47th Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2023
EditorsHossain Shahriar, Yuuichi Teranishi, Alfredo Cuzzocrea, Moushumi Sharmin, Dave Towey, AKM Jahangir Alam Majumder, Hiroki Kashiwazaki, Ji-Jiang Yang, Michiharu Takemoto, Nazmus Sakib, Ryohei Banno, Sheikh Iqbal Ahamed
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9798350326970
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event47th IEEE Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2023 - Hybrid, Torino, Italy
Duration: 26 Jun 202330 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Computer Software and Applications Conference
ISSN (Print)0730-3157


Conference47th IEEE Annual Computers, Software, and Applications Conference, COMPSAC 2023
CityHybrid, Torino


  • fake news
  • fake news detection
  • fake news detection software
  • metamorphic relation
  • Metamorphic testing
  • oracle problem
  • software testing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications


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