Testing the Untestable

Model Testing of Complex Software-Intensive Systems

ERC chair holder: Prof. Lionel Briand

Project Overview

Software-intensive systems pervade modern society and industry. These systems often play critical roles from an economic, safety or security standpoint, thus making their dependability a crucial matter. Software Verification and Validation (V&V) is core to ensuring software dependability. The most prevalent V&V technique is testing, that is the automated, systematic, and controlled execution of a system to detect faults or to show compliance with requirements. Increasingly, we are faced with systems that are untestable, meaning that traditional testing methods are highly expensive, time-consuming or even infeasible to apply due to factors such as the system’s continuous and complex interactions with its environment, incomplete, ill-defined, or difficult-to-analyse requirements, and the deep intertwining of software with hardware.

TUNE will address several key aspects related to software test automation which are considered highly important and significant challenges in practice. It therefore encompasses complementary areas of research which are, in most cases, investigated in collaboration with industry partners. This enables us to better identify critical problems and get access to industrial cases, expertise, and data.

The research activities in TUNE span over:

  • Automated testing and debugging of functional and executable models (e.g., Simulink ) with dynamic behavior
  • Modeling and simulation of cyber-physical systems, integrating both physical and software models
  • Requirements-driven, automated testing of embedded software
  • Automated quality assurance of requirements
  • Modeling, configuration, and testing of software product lines
  • Automated security testing of web and mobile applications
  • Solving complex constraints in a test automation context

In all our projects, our focus is not only on devising novel approaches but also to achieve applicability and scalability.