Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Yesterday, I have completed my habilitation process at TU Graz. The last step was a public 45 minutes talk on

"Model-Based Mutation Testing: From Semantics to Automated Test-Case Generation"

given to the faculty of computer science and the habilitation commission. After the talk I answered questions and defended my habilitation thesis.

The habilitation thesis with the title "Model-Based Mutation Testing: Theory and Application" was submitted in January. It consists of selected papers and a survey chapter.

The survey chapter is available for download: Survey Chapter Habilitationsschrift Aichernig.

The habilitation gives me the right to lecture any topic covered by my habilitation area "Practical Computer Science and Formal Methods in Computer Science". "Practical Computer Science" includes topics like Software Engineering and Programming Languages. "Formal Methods" are mathematically based techniques for the specification, development and verification of software and hardware systems.

More details regarding the history and concept of habilitation can be found on Wikipedia.

Integrating model-based testing and analysis tools via test case exchange

Our first publication in the MBAT project was presented at TASE 2012 and in a seminar given at UNU-IIST:

Bernhard K. Aichernig, Florian Lorber, and Stefan Tiran. Integrating model-based testing and analysis tools via test case exchange. In TASE 2012, 6th IEEE International Symposium on Theoretical Aspects of Software Engineering, July 4–6, Beijing, China, pages 119-126. IEEE Computer Society, 2012. (PDF)

In this paper we show an integration of two tools via test cases. For example test cases are generated from a model in Tool 1 and then model checked in another Tool 2. This is useful when a modeling tool does not support model checking as it is the case with most UML tools.

Abstract: Europe’s industry in embedded system design is currently aiming for a better integration of tools that support their development, validation and verification processes. The idea is to combine model-driven development with model-based testing and model-based analysis. The interoperability of tools shall be achieved with the help of meta-models that facilitate the mapping between different modelling notations. However, the syntactic and semantic integration of tools is a complex and costly task. A common problem is that different tools support different subsets of a language. Furthermore, semantic differences are a major obstacle to sound integration efforts.

 In this paper we advocate an alternative, more pragmatic approach. We propose the exchange of test cases generated from the models instead of exchanging the models themselves. The advantage is that test cases have a much simpler syntax and semantics, and hence, the mapping between different tools is easier to implement and to maintain. With a formal testing approach with adequate testing criteria a set of test cases can be viewed as partial models that can be formally analysed. We demonstrate an integration of our test case generator Ulysses with the CADP toolbox by means of test case exchange. We generate test cases in Ulysses and verify properties in CADP. We also generate test cases in CADP and perform a mutation analysis in Ulysses.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

ICTSS 2012, Aalborg, Denmark

Photo: dinilu
I have been invited to serve on the Program Committee of ICTSS 2012, the 23rd IFIP Int. Conference on Testing Software and Systems, November 19-21, 2012 Aalborg, Denmark.

Please, consider submitting your testing work until June 11, 2012 (abstracts), June 18, 2012 (full papers).

Brian Nielsen, Aalborg University, DK and Carsten Weise, IVU Traffic Technologies, DE are the program chairs. For details see the conference homepage.

Last year, we presented a paper at ICTSS in Paris:

Christian Schwarzl, Bernhard K. Aichernig, and Franz Wotawa. Compositional random testing using extended symbolic transition systems. In Burkhart Wolff and Fatiha Za├»di, editors, Testing Software and Systems - 23rd IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, ICTSS 2011, Paris, France, November 7-10, 2011. Proceedings, volume 7019 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 179–194. Springer-Verlag, 2011. (PDF)

Friday, 24 February 2012

Towards Symbolic Model-Based Mutation Testing: Combining Reachability and Refinement Checking

We present our newest paper on model-based mutation testing accepted at MBT 2012.

Model-based mutation testing uses altered test models to derive test cases that are able to reveal whether a modelled fault has been implemented. This requires conformance checking between the original and the mutated model. This paper presents an approach for symbolic conformance checking of action systems, which are well-suited to specify reactive systems.

We also consider non-determinism in our models. Hence, we do not check for equivalence, but for refinement. We encode the transition relation as well as the conformance relation as a constraint satisfaction problem and use a constraint solver in our reachability and refinement checking algorithms.

Explicit conformance checking techniques often face state space explosion. First experimental evaluations show that our approach has potential to outperform explicit conformance checkers.

This research is part of the TRUFAL project.

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