tcframe is a C++ framework for generating test cases of competitive programming problems. This framework helps problem writers prepare test cases in a structured manner and ensures that the generated test cases are valid according to the specified constraints.

At a very high level, with some details omitted, it works as follows:

  1. You specify input/output variables.

    int A, B;
    int sum;
  2. You specify input/output formats.

    void InputFormat() {
        LINE(A, B); // A line containing space-separated A and B
    void OutputFormat() {
  3. You specify the grading configuration.

    void GradingConfig() {
  4. You specify the constraints.

    void Constraints() {
        CONS(1 <= A && A <= 1000);
        CONS(1 <= B && B <= 1000);
  5. You specify the sample test cases.

    void SampleTestCase1() {
            "2 8"
    void SampleTestCase2() {
            "42 100"
  6. You specify the official test cases. Random number generator is available.

    void TestCases() {
        CASE(A = 1, B = 1);
        CASE(A = 77, B = 99);
        CASE(A = rnd.nextInt(1, 1000), B = rnd.nextInt(1, 1000));
  7. You write the official solution to this problem, using any programming language you wish. Of course, it is the infamous A+B problem.

    #include <iostream>
    using namespace std;
    int main() {
        int A, B;
        cin >> A >> B;
        cout << (A + B) << endl;
  8. You run the generator. Actual test cases (.in and .out files) will be generated. Profit!

  9. If you ever specified an invalid test case, such as CASE(A = 0, B = 1), you will get a nice error message:

    sum_4: FAILED
      Description: A = 0, B = 1
      * Does not satisfy constraints, on:
        - 1 <= A && A <= 1000


tcframe supports:

  • Standard batch problems; i.e., problems which requires the solution to read from stdin and print to stdout.
  • Constraints specified in IOI-style subtasks.
  • ICPC-style multiple test cases per file.
  • Simple local grading of solutions against generated test cases.
  • Specifying time and memory limits.
  • Basic random number generation helper.


tcframe requires:

  • Linux/OS X. Windows is currently not supported yet
  • GCC ≥ 4.8. tcframe relies heavily on C++11 features


Why do we even need to write a generator for test cases, in the first place?

  • That’s primarily because writing test cases manually is error-prone and time-consuming.
  • To enable distributing the test cases as a single, small generator file. No need to send 20 MB over email anymore.
  • During problem development, constraints often change. Using a generator, we can easily fix the constraint and just run the generator again.

OK. But why do we need a framework for that?

  • The main problem is that not all people know how to write a good test cases generator.
  • To avoid writing repetitive and boring tasks. For example: creating test case files with correct suffixes (, foo_1.out), running official solution against the test case input files, etc.
  • To make all problems in a contest have test cases generator with consistent format.


tcframe is based on a paper submitted to IOI conference in 2015: Introducing tcframe: A Simple and Robust Test Cases Generation Framework, written by Ashar Fuadi.

tcframe was mainly inspired from testlib, written by Mike Mirzayanov et al.


tcframe is released under MIT license.

Source code can be found on GitHub. Issues and pull requests are welcome.