Automated Testing of Object Oriented Systems using VDM++ and UML Communication Diagrams


The rapidly growing applications of software in critical systems such as railways, aviation, automobiles, and medicine, demand a much higher level of reliability and errorfree operation. The use of formal methods in such applications not only helps avoid specification errors, ambiguities, and inconsistencies in early phases of software life cycle, but also provides a sound basis for generation of an effective set of test cases. However, the existing research on formal specification based testing has focused on unit level testing only.

This research is aimed at automating the generation of class level as well as integration level test cases for an object-oriented system using formal specifications. We use VDM++ formal specification language for this purpose. As a result of our research, we present a framework, called SpecTGS, that automatically generates specification based test cases for object-oriented systems using VDM++ as the specification language. For class testing, the SpecTGS uses the trace structure definition of a VDM++ class specification to derive allowable method call sequences, and partition analysis to generate test data. For integration testing, we have proposed a novel idea that extracts testing information from the VDM++ specification and UML communication diagrams. The SpecTGS derives message sequences from a UML communication diagram, and uses the VDM++ specification to construct state invariants for the states in which a class can receive a message. A new strategy for constructing sub-states from a state invariant called partitioned boundary state coverage that combines two existing strategies, i.e. partition v analysis strategy and the boundary state coverage strategy. Each message sequence generated from the UML communication diagrams is combined with the sub-states to construct a test model. The test model is then used to derive the test paths under various coverage criteria. A proof-of-concept tool has been developed to implement and evaluate the SpecTGS framework. The results for the integration testing approach have been shown for a real-life case study selected from the literature.

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