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Generalized Test Tables: A Powerful and Intuitive Specification Language for Reactive Systems

Reviewed Paper In Proceedings

Author(s):Alexander Weigl, Franziska Wiebe, Mattias Ulbrich, Sebastian Ulewicz, Suhyun Cha, Michael Kirsten, Bernhard Beckert, and Birgit Vogel‑Heuser
In:15th IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics (INDIN 2017)
Publisher:IEEE
Year:2017
DOI:10.1109/INDIN.2017.8104887

Abstract

With recent trends in manufacturing automation, such as Industry 4.0, control software in automated production systems becomes more and more complex and volatile,complicating and increasing importance of quality assurance. Test tables are a widely used and generally accepted means to intuitively specify test cases for automation software. However, each table only specifies a single software trace, whereas the actual software behavior may cover multiple similar traces not covered by the table. Within this work, we present a generalization concept for test tables allowing for bounded and unbounded repetition of steps, “don't-care” values, as well as calculations with earlier observed values. We provide a verification mechanism for checking conformance of an IEC 61131-3 PLC software with a generalized test table, making use of a state-of-the-art model checker. Our notation is inspired by widely-used paradigms found in spreadsheet applications. By an empirical study with mechanical engineering students, we show that the notation matches user expectations. A real-world example extracted from an industrial automation plant illustrates our approach.

BibTeX

@InProceedings{WeiglEtAl2017,
  author       = {Alexander Weigl and Franziska Wiebe and Mattias Ulbrich
                  and Sebastian Ulewicz and Suhyun Cha and Michael Kirsten
                  and Bernhard Beckert and Birgit Vogel-Heuser},
  title        = {Generalized Test Tables: A Powerful and Intuitive
                  Specification Language for Reactive Systems},
  booktitle    = {15th {IEEE} International Conference on Industrial
                  Informatics ({INDIN} 2017)},
  publisher    = {{IEEE}},
  year         = {2017},
  abstract     = {With recent trends in manufacturing automation, such as Industry {4.0},
                  control software in automated production systems becomes more and more
                  complex and volatile,complicating and increasing importance of quality
                  assurance. Test tables are a widely used and generally accepted means
                  to intuitively specify test cases for automation software. However,
                  each table only specifies a single software trace, whereas the actual
                  software behavior may cover multiple similar traces not covered by the
                  table.
                  Within this work, we present a generalization concept for test tables
                  allowing for bounded and unbounded repetition of steps, “don't-care”
                  values, as well as calculations with earlier observed values. We provide
                  a verification mechanism for checking conformance of an {IEC 61131-3} PLC
                  software with a generalized test table, making use of a state-of-the-art
                  model checker. Our notation is inspired by widely-used paradigms found
                  in spreadsheet applications. By an empirical study with mechanical
                  engineering students, we show that the notation matches user expectations.
                  A real-world example extracted from an industrial automation plant
                  illustrates our approach.},
  month        = jul,
  place        = {Emden, Germany},
  date         = {July 24-26},
  doi          = {10.1109/INDIN.2017.8104887} 
}