Re: Syntax Directed Test Generation (MarkAGr)
8 May 1997 01:00:11 -0400

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From: (MarkAGr)
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 8 May 1997 01:00:11 -0400
Organization: AOL,
References: 97-04-176
Keywords: syntax, testing

This does stray from the thread a tad, but not too far from the aims
of the compiler group ... however I read "Syntax Directed Test
Generation" and I'm sure you'll see the connection.

        I have managed to successfully create a tester for layers of the
ISO networking protocols. By logging the messages passed between
selected protocol layers ( as a packet travels from peer to peer, )
then passing these logged message sequences through a syntax analyser
( the grammar for which is a set of valid message sequences that allow
the communications path to be maintained. ) we can spot errors in
mesages sequences.

        The analyser produces deviations from the grammar found in the
logged file, and by displaying the set of expected values against the
recieved values, it's possible to pinpoint in which layer and states
in which the error in the protocol lies.

        This has a two fold benefit. Primarily the automation of protocol
testing ( along with the regression benefits that it entails, ) and
secondly ( for the lazy amongst us, ) a test specification is reduced
to merely an EBNF grammar.

        I'm sure that protocol stacks aren't the only area where automated
testing by grammar is applicable ... infact anywhere that rigid
sequences of operations exist ... eg. protocols, robotics, system
simulation ... any system that employs nested state machines ( maybe
written in SDL or SM's process model ... many other ood & ooa
methods. )

I hope this is relevent and sparks off many time saving ideas. Please
let me know.


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