Model-based testing of highly configurable embedded systems in the automation domain
This article reports the results of an industrial case study demonstrating the efficacy of a model-based testing process in assuring the quality of highly configurable systems from the automation domain. Escalating demand for flexibility has made modern embedded software systems highly configurable. This configurability is often realized through parameters and a highly configurable system possesses a handful of those. Small changes in parameter values can account for significant changes in the system's behavior, whereas in other cases, changed parameters may not result in any perceivable reaction. This case study addresses the challenge of applying model-based testing to configurable embedded software systems to reduce development effort. As a result of the case study, a model-based testing process was developed and tailored toward the needs of the automation domain. This process integrates existing model-based testing methods and tools, such as combinatorial design and constraint processing. The testing process was applied as part of the case study and analyzed in terms of its actual saving potentials, which reduced the testing effort by more than a third.