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Generation of Execution Sequences for Modular Time Critical Systems
February 2000 (vol. 26 no. 2)
pp. 128-149

Abstract—We define methods for generating execution sequences for time-critical systems based on their modularized formal specification. An execution sequence represents a behavior of a time critical system and can be used, before the final system is built, to validate the system specification against the user requirements (specification validation) and, after the final system is built, to verify whether the implementation satisfies the specification (functional testing). Our techniques generate execution sequences in the large, in that we focus on the connections among the abstract interfaces of the modules composing a modular specification. Execution sequences in the large are obtained by composing execution sequences in the small for the individual modules. We abstract from the specification languages used for the individual modules of the system, so our techniques can also be used when the modules composing the system are specified with different formalisms. We consider the cases in which connections give rise to either circular or noncircular dependencies among specification modules. We show that execution sequence generation can be carried out successfully under rather broad conditions and we define procedures for efficient construction of execution sequences. These procedures can be taken as the basis for the implementation of (semi)automated tools that provide substantial support to the activity of specification validation and functional testing for industrially-sized time critical systems. In addition, we show how we have applied our techniques to an industrial-strength case study with the aid of a prototype tool.

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Index Terms:
Functional testing, structural testing, specification testing, formal specifications, time critical systems, modular notations.
Citation:
Pierluigi San Pietro, Angelo Morzenti, Sandro Morasca, "Generation of Execution Sequences for Modular Time Critical Systems," IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 128-149, Feb. 2000, doi:10.1109/32.841114
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