Towards the Online Testing of Distributed and Heterogeneous Systems with Extended Petri Nets
Bruno Lima and João Pascoal Faria
The growing dependence of our society on increasingly complex software systems makes software testing ever more important and challenging. In many domains, such as healthcare and transportation, several independent systems, forming a heterogeneous and distributed system of systems, are involved in the provisioning of end-to-end services to users. However, existing testing techniques, namely in the model-based testing field, provide little support for properly testing such systems. To bridge the gaps identified in the state of the art we intend to develop a research work where the main goal is to significantly reduce the cost of testing distributed and heterogeneous systems, from the standpoint of time, resources and expertise required, as compared to existing approaches. For that, we propose a preliminary approach and a toolset architecture for automating the testing of end-to-end services in distributed and heterogeneous systems. The tester interacts with a visual modeling frontend to describe key behavioral scenarios, invoke test generation and execution, and visualize test results and coverage information back in the model. The visual modeling notation is converted to a formal notation amenable for runtime interpretation in the backend. A distributed test monitoring and control infrastructure is responsible for interacting with the components of the system under test, as test driver, monitor and stub. At the core of the toolset, a test execution engine coordinates test execution and checks the conformance of the observed execution trace with the expectations derived from the visual model. A real world example from the Ambient Assisted Living domain is presented to illustrate the approach. As future work we intend to develop distributed and incremental algorithms for online testing of distributed and heterogeneous systems based on Extended Petri Nets at runtime and validate them in real world case studies.