Passive Testing with Asynchronous Communications

  • Robert M. Hierons
  • Mercedes G. Merayo
  • Manuel Núñez
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7892)


Testing is usually understood to involve the tester interacting with the studied system by supplying input and observing output. However, sometimes this active interaction is not possible and testing becomes more passive. In this setting, passive testing can be considered to be the process of checking that the observations made regarding the system satisfy certain required properties. In this paper we study a formal passive testing framework for systems where there is an asynchronous communications channel between the tester and the system. We consider a syntactic definition of a class of properties and provide a semantic representation, as automata, that take into account the different observations that we can expect due to the assumption of asynchrony. Our solution checks properties against traces in polynomial time, with a low need for storage. Therefore, our proposal is very suitable for real-time passive testing.


Regular Expression Software Test Regular Language Principal Ideal System Under Test 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Andrés, C., Merayo, M.G., Núñez, M.: Formal passive testing of timed systems: Theory and tools. Software Testing, Verification and Reliability 22(6), 365–405 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bayse, E., Cavalli, A., Núñez, M., Zaïdi, F.: A passive testing approach based on invariants: Application to the WAP. Computer Networks 48(2), 247–266 (2005)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Berry, G., Sethi, R.: From regular expressions to deterministic automata. Theoretical Computer Science 48(3), 117–126 (1986)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cavalli, A., Gervy, C., Prokopenko, S.: New approaches for passive testing using an extended finite state machine specification. Information and Software Technology 45(12), 837–852 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Colombo, C., Pace, G.J., Abela, P.: Safer asynchronous runtime monitoring using compensations. Formal Methods in System Design 41(3), 269–294 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dilworth, R.P.: A decomposition theorem for partially ordered sets. Annals of Mathematics 51(1), 161–166 (1950)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gaudel, M.-C.: Testing can be formal, too! In: Mosses, P.D., Nielsen, M. (eds.) TAPSOFT 1995. LNCS, vol. 915, pp. 82–96. Springer, Heidelberg (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grieskamp, W., Kicillof, N., Stobie, K., Braberman, V.: Model-based quality assurance of protocol documentation: tools and methodology. Software Testing, Verification and Reliability 21(1), 55–71 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hagenah, C., Muscholl, A.: Computing epsilon-free NFA from regular expressions in O(n·log(n)2) time. Informatique Théorique et Applications 34(4), 257–278 (2000)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hennie, F.C.: Fault-detecting experiments for sequential circuits. In: 5th Annual Symposium on Switching Circuit Theory and Logical Design, pp. 95–110. IEEE Computer Society (1964)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Henniger, O.: On test case generation from asynchronously communicating state machines. In: 10th Int. Workshop on Testing of Communicating Systems, IWTCS 1997, pp. 255–271. Chapman & Hall (1997)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hierons, R.M.: The complexity of asynchronous model based testing. Theoretical Computer Science 451, 70–82 (2012)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hierons, R.M., Bogdanov, K., Bowen, J.P., Cleaveland, R., Derrick, J., Dick, J., Gheorghe, M., Harman, M., Kapoor, K., Krause, P., Luettgen, G., Simons, A.J.H., Vilkomir, S., Woodward, M.R., Zedan, H.: Using formal specifications to support testing. ACM Computing Surveys 41(2) (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hierons, R.M., Bowen, J.P., Harman, M. (eds.): Formal Methods and Testing. LNCS, vol. 4949. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hierons, R.M., Merayo, M.G., Núñez, M.: Scenarios-based testing of systems with distributed ports. Software - Practice and Experience 41(10), 999–1026 (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hierons, R.M., Merayo, M.G., Núñez, M.: Implementation relations and test generation for systems with distributed interfaces. Distributed Computing 25(1), 35–62 (2012)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hierons, R.M., Merayo, M.G., Núñez, M.: Using time to add order to distributed testing. In: Giannakopoulou, D., Méry, D. (eds.) FM 2012. LNCS, vol. 7436, pp. 232–246. Springer, Heidelberg (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hromkovic, J., Seibert, S., Wilke, T.: Translating regular expressions into small ε-free nondeterministic finite automata. Journal of Computer Systems and Science 62(4), 565–588 (2001)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Huo, J.L., Petrenko, A.: On testing partially specified IOTS through lossless queues. In: Groz, R., Hierons, R.M. (eds.) TestCom 2004. LNCS, vol. 2978, pp. 76–94. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Huo, J., Petrenko, A.: Transition covering tests for systems with queues. Software Testing, Verification and Reliability 19(1), 55–83 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lee, D., Netravali, A.N., Sabnani, K.K., Sugla, B., John, A.: Passive testing and applications to network management. In: 5th IEEE Int. Conf. on Network Protocols, ICNP 1997, pp. 113–122. IEEE Computer Society (1997)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Mammar, A., Cavalli, A., Jimenez, W., Mallouli, W., Montes de Oca, E.: Using testing techniques for vulnerability detection in C programs. In: Wolff, B., Zaïdi, F. (eds.) ICTSS 2011. LNCS, vol. 7019, pp. 80–96. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mealy, G.H.: A method for synthesizing sequential circuits. Bell System Techical Journal 34, 1045–1079 (1955)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Morales, G., Maag, S., Cavalli, A.R., Mallouli, W., Montes de Oca, E., Wehbi, B.: Timed extended invariants for the passive testing of web services. In: 8th IEEE Int. Conf. on Web Services, ICWS 2010, pp. 592–599. IEEE Computer Society (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Simão, A., Petrenko, A.: Generating asynchronous test cases from test purposes. Information and Software Technology 53(11), 1252–1262 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Hierons
    • 1
  • Mercedes G. Merayo
    • 2
  • Manuel Núñez
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Information Systems and ComputingBrunel UniversityUxbridgeUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Departamento de Sistemas Informáticos y ComputaciónUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations