About

TRUFAL is a national Austrian research project funded by FFG (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft) settled in the programme FIT-IT (Forschung, Innovation und Technologie für Informationstechnologien).

The project has a duration of three years: from March 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. Four partners contribute to the project: two research partners and two industrial partners.

TRUFAL addresses the following challenges to software testing:

Today’s dependable computer-based infrastructures rapidly grow in complexity due to a continuous evolution towards very large, heterogeneous, highly dynamic and ubiquitous computer systems. This
trend of a growing complexity is a serious challenge to the task of engineering trustworthy systems: the more complex a system is, the more difficult is the verification of the fulfilment of its dependability requirements. It seems that despite the many advances in automated verification, the demand for new features and flexibility always creates systems that provide the next barrier for automated verification. Where verification is not possible to establish trust, Sir Popper proposed falsification. TRUFAL will implement this idea by applying mutation analysis to the modelling level, leading to a new form of fault-oriented model-based testing. Mutation testing is strongly related to safety and security testing. Today, no commercial tools exist that combine mutation testing and model-based testing. One reason is the complexity of the algorithms behind mutation testing (equivalent mutant problem).

Importance of the addressed problem:

  • Despite the many advances in automated verification, i.e. in model checking and
    theorem proving, testing target systems remains a crucial means for establishing trust.
  • Manually produced test cases, however, are expensive, and often lack objective
    coverage measure.
  • Hence, automated TCG became a vital vehicle. However, the important fault-based
    technique of model-based mutation testing is not yet available to industry.
  • Mutation-based test case generation turns out to subsume all other automated TCG
    techniques, but is expensive and suffers from state explosion.

The aim is to develop such a new test case generator that is able to handle models of industrial scale. We will exploit the newest results and techniques from formal methods: formal intermediate models, model decomposition and concolic (concrete and symbolic) execution. This tool, together with domain specific fault models, will be integrated in the quality assurance process of our industrial partners in the safety-critical transportation domain: automotive and railways, which in a mid-term range can lead to improvement of their development processes. The objective is to reduce their testing efforts by at least 10% while providing a measurable and scientifically defendable statement of trust in their systems in terms of fault coverage. All techniques will be well-founded in scientific theory.

Project Objectives:

  • Techniques which successfully cope with the state explosion problem of mutation-based
    test case generation
  • Allowing to generate test cases from industrial-sized UML models (At least 50% larger
    models treatable than today; for example models of electronic interlocking systems,
    representing all relevant functional safety rules for train routing and control)
  • Support of complex state models with parallel and hierarchical regions
  • Avoidance of redundant test cases (efficiency)
  • Provision of a demonstrator tool environment
  • Application to use cases from automotive and railway
Coordination:
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
Donau-City-Str. 1
1220 Wien
Contact:
Dr. Wolfgang Herzner
+43(0) 50550-4231
wolfgang.herzner@ait.ac.at

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