Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence

, Volume 63, Issue 1, pp 5–30

Formal testing for separation assurance


  • Dimitra Giannakopoulou
    • NASA AmesCarnegie Mellon University
  • David H. Bushnell
    • NASA AmesTRACLabs
    • NASA AmesSGT, Inc.
  • Heinz Erzberger
    • NASA AmesUC Santa Cruz
  • Karen Heere
    • University Affiliated Research Center

DOI: 10.1007/s10472-011-9224-3

Cite this article as:
Giannakopoulou, D., Bushnell, D.H., Schumann, J. et al. Ann Math Artif Intell (2011) 63: 5. doi:10.1007/s10472-011-9224-3


In order to address the rapidly increasing load of air traffic operations, innovative algorithms and software systems must be developed for the next generation air traffic control. Extensive verification of such novel algorithms is key for their adoption by industry. Separation assurance algorithms aim at predicting if two aircraft will get closer to each other than a minimum safe distance; if loss of separation is predicted, they also propose a change of course for the aircraft to resolve this potential conflict. In this paper, we report on our work towards developing an advanced testing framework for separation assurance. Our framework supports automated test case generation and testing, and defines test oracles that capture algorithm requirements. We discuss three different approaches to test-case generation, their application to a separation assurance prototype, and their respective strengths and weaknesses. We also present an approach for statistical analysis of the large numbers of test results obtained from our framework.


Software testingVerificationModel checkingAutomatic test generationClusteringSeparation assuranceAir-traffic control

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011