Proceedings of the 28th Annual International Computer Software and Applications Conference (COMPSAC '04),
vol. 1, IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, CA, pp. 458-465 (2004). [Evaluated as the best paper.]

Testing Context-Sensitive Middleware-Based Software Applications 1

T.H. Tse 2 , Stephen S. Yau 3 , W.K. Chan 4 , Heng Lu 4 , and T.Y. Chen 5

[paper from IEEE Xplore | paper from IEEE digital library | technical report TR-2004-07]


Context-sensitive middleware-based software is an emerging kind of ubiquitous computing application. The components of such software communicate proactively among themselves according to the situational attributes of their environments, known as the "contexts" The actual process of accessing and updating the inter-component contexts lies with the middleware. The latter invokes the relevant local and remote operations whenever any context inscribed in the situation-aware interface is satisfied. Since the applications operate in a highly dynamic environment, the testing of context-sensitive software is complex and challenging.

Metamorphic testing is a property-based testing strategy. It recommends that, even if a test case does not reveal any failure, follow-up test cases should be further constructed from the original to check whether the software satisfies some necessary conditions of the problem to be implemented. This paper proposes to use isotropic properties of contexts as metamorphic relations for testing context-sensitive software. For instance, distinct points on the same isotropic curve of contexts would entail comparable responses by the components. This notion of testing context relations is novel, robust, and intuitive to users.

Keywords: Property-based testing, RCSM, middleware-based application, metamorphic testing

1. This research is supported in part by a grant of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, a grant of The University of Hong Kong, and an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (project no. DP 0345147).
2. (Corresponding author.)
Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
3. Computer Science and Engineering Department, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
4. Department of Computer Science, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong.
5. Centre for Software Analysis and Testing, Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn 3122, Australia


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