ISSRE 2008
Conference paper

The feasibility of automated feedback-directed specification-based test generation: A case study of a high-assurance operating system

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In this paper, we describe results of a case study to establish the feasibility of deriving mappings between an abstract user level specification and the code elements in a concrete implementation of a highly secure smart card operating system. uch a mapping is necessary for feedback-directed specification-based test generation to improve code coverage, needed by the stringent criteria for high-assurance systems. We used test cases generated from the user level specification to identify the executed code elements and attempted to use static analysis to map the unexecuted code elements to the corresponding elements in the user level specification. Our primary result is evidence that, given a sufficiently expressive user level specification and a test generation system that is able to effectively use such a specification, the resulting tests will cover the vast majority of the code branches that are able to be covered. Therefore, the benefit of a feedback-directed system will be limited. We further provideevidence that the static analysis required to generate feedback in these cases tends to be difficult, involving inferring the semantics of the internal implementation of data structures. In particular, we observed that the internal states at the implementation level in a high security application pose significant challenges to this mapping process. © 2008 IEEE.