Compositional Testing of Communications Systems

R. Gotzhein, F. Khendek

Report 329/2004, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Kaiserslautern, Germany, 2004


Today, test methods for communication protocols assume, among other things, that the protocol design is specified as a single, monolithic finite state machine (FSM). From this specification, test suites that are capable of detecting output and/or transfer faults in the protocol implementation are derived. Limited applicability of these methods is mainly because of their specific assumptions, and due to the size of the derived test suite and the resulting test effort for realistic protocols. In this work, the compositional test method (C-method), which exploits the available structure of a communication protocol, is proposed. The C-method first tests each protocol component separately for output and/or transfer faults, using one of the traditional test methods, then checks for composability, and finally tests the composite system for composition faults. To check for composability and to derive the test suite for the detection of composition faults, it is not required to construct the global state machine. Instead, all information is derived from the component state machines, which avoids a potential state explosion and lengthy test cases. Furthermore, the test suite checks for composition faults only. This substantially reduces the size of the test suite and thus the overall test effort.


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