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Model-Based Testing: The Next Step in Test Automation for Embedded Systems

Jan Tretmans    
Radboud University and TNO Embedded Systems Innovation - The Netherlands

Presentation abstract

We build ever larger and more complex embedded systems. Systematic testing plays an important role in assessing the quality of such systems. Testing, however, turns out to be error-prone, expensive, and laborious. Consequently, better testing methods are needed that can detect more bugs faster and cheaper. Classical test automation helps but only for test execution. Model-based testing (MBT) is a promising technology that enables the next step in test automation by combining automatic test generation and test result analysis with test execution, and providing more, longer, and more diversified test cases with less effort.

In the presentation, we first discuss the basic ideas and principles of MBT, with its advantages, pitfalls, and perspectives. Second, we discuss a couple of trends, issues, and challenges for testing high-tech embedded systems, and their implications for testing, such as complexity, distribution, concurrency, uncertainty, and systems-of-systems. Third, we show an MBT approach and an MBT tool dealing with these issues. The MBT approach combines the latest theoretical insights on test generation with high practical applicability and strong modelling capabilities. The MBT tool has been applied to  various systems, ranging from smart-cards to large, high-tech embedded systems.

Speakers information

Jan Tretmans is Associate Professor in the Software Science group, Radboud University, Nijmegen, and Senior Research Fellow at TNO – Embedded Systems Innovation, Eindhoven. Moreover, he is Visiting Professor at Halmstad University, Sweden.

Jan is working in the areas of software testing, and the use of formal methods, models, and verification techniques in software engineering. In particular, he likes to combine these two topics: testing using formal methods, also known as model-based testing. In these fields he has several publications, such as the ioco-theory for model-based testing of non-deterministic state-based systems, and he has given numerous presentations at scientific conferences as well as for industrial audiences. Among others, Jan applied formal modelling to the software control system of the Maeslant Kering, a safety-critical storm surge barrier near Rotterdam, and he performed model-based testing of the European electronic biometric passport.

Currently, Jan Tretmans is involved in a couple of joint TNO-ESI industrial research projects on improving testing processes with model-based testing, and he is project leader of  the Dutch Research Organisation project SUMBAT on “Supersizing Model-Based Testing”.

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