Data-driven Mutation Analysis for Cyber-Physical Systems
Cyber-physical systems (CPSs) typically consist of a wide set of integrated, heterogeneous components; consequently, most of their critical failures relate to the interoperability of such components. Unfortunately, most CPS test automation techniques are preliminary and industry still heavily relies on manual testing. With potentially incomplete, manually-generated test suites, it is of paramount importance to assess their quality.
Though mutation analysis has demonstrated to be an effective means to assess test suite quality in some specific contexts, we lack approaches for CPSs. Indeed, existing approaches do not target interoperability problems and cannot be executed in the presence of black-box or simulated components, a typical situation with CPSs.
In this paper, we introduce data-driven mutation analysis, an approach that consists in assessing test suite quality by verifying if it detects interoperability faults simulated by mutating the data exchanged by software components. To this end, we describe a data-driven mutation analysis technique (DaMAT) that automatically alters the data exchanged through data buffers. Our technique is driven by fault models in tabular form where engineers specify how to mutate data items by selecting and configuring a set of mutation operators.
We have evaluated DaMAT with CPSs in the space domain; specifically, the test suites for the software systems of a microsatellite and nanosatellites launched on orbit last year. Our results show that the approach effectively detects test suite shortcomings, is not affected by equivalent and redundant mutants, and entails acceptable costs.
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