Model-based testing on production hardware

February 17, 2016 // By Heiko Riessland, Dirk Tetzlaff
PikeTec’s Time Partition Testing (TPT) technique not only enables the testing of MATLAB/Simulink or ASCET models, but also the testing of conventional C code applications. Coupled with hardware-related debug and trace tools, even highly optimized code on production control devices can also be tested without instrumentation or limitation of the real-time behavior. Furthermore, measurement of the code coverage can be carried out as stipulated in relevant standards such as ISO 26262, for safeguard of the software quality.

Time Partition Testing (TPT) is a model-based testing technique, which is based on hybrid, hierarchical, parallel running automatons with continuous behavior. These use a real-time semantics, support continuous signal processes and―with the help of so-called variation points―enable modelling of a number of test cases in a common automaton. Hence, with TPT all test cases for a test object are managed in a common test model.

As a result of this approach, the overview still remains manageable and maintenance-friendly even for complex tests with hundreds of test cases, whereby the tests themselves are formally precise and automatically executable. A consistent solution ‒ from the requirements specification, through test modelling and automated test execution to test evaluation and documentation ‒ is possible by means of coupling with the requirements management tool DOORS (Dynamic Object-Oriented Requirements System) and an integrated automated test evaluation.

The advantage of TPT lies in the clear graphic modelling of signal-oriented behavior for automated executable and evaluable tests. Differences between the individual test cases are modelled by behavior variants on the states and transitions. Therefore, each state and each transition in the automaton cannot only define one, but potentially any number of alternative signal definitions or transition conditions, which in turn can stimulate different specific test procedures.

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