Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-0124
2008-04-14

Verification of Model Processing Tools * 2008-01-0124

A key requirement for the development of safety-critical systems is the correctness of the tools used in their development process. Standards such as DO-178B mandate the qualification of tools used in the software engineering process of the systems to be certified at the highest levels of criticality. On the other hand, the increasing complexity of software requires the use of methodologies such as Model Based Development (MBD) that are highly tool intensive. MBD employs a suite of tools such as model-translators, code-generators, optimizers, simulators, etc., that can collectively be referred to as model-processors. A model-processor accepts a model in one language, and outputs a processed model in a possibly different language. Due to the increasing sophistication in modern modeling languages, model-processors are prone to implementation errors. Also, they are continuously evolving, resulting in differences in their behaviour across different releases. Our objective is to address the need for ensuring the correctness of model-processors before their deployment in safety-critical software engineering process.
We propose the MetaTest method for verification of model processing tools such as simulators and code-generators. MetaTest uses a meta-model based test-case generation method (MMBT) that generates test-cases for model-processors. This approach allows us to directly address the problem of testing the functionality of model-processors. We have evaluated MetaTest on some commonly used model-processors in the industry, and from our results, we find it promising to realize a rigorous testing process for such tools.

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