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A frequently invoked assumption in program testing is that there is an oracle (i.e. the tester or an external mechanism can accurately decide whether or not the output produced by a program is correct). A program is non-testable if either an oracle does not exist or the tester must expend some extraordinary amount of time to determine whether or not the output is correct. The reasonableness of the oracle assumption is examined and the conclusion is reached that in many cases this is not adoi:10.1093/comjnl/25.4.465 fatcat:5wzva7h7q5bcbbqbynty7owrt4