Documentation Based Software Module Reliability Estimation Tool

Mr. ChunMing Li

Software Engineering Research Group
CRL, McMaster University,
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4K1


Bartussek and Parnas [1] proposed the Trace Assertion Method (TAM) for producing pure black-box specification of modules. This method is further developed and formalized by Wang in his doctorate thesis [18]. Many modifications can be found in [3,4,5]. The study shows that a module's externally observable behavior can be simulated based on the specification produced using tabular format.

A software estimation method which can take advantage of TAM is developed by Woit in her doctorate thesis [20]. It is in the family of hypothesis testing models. The method shows how to specify a module's operational profile specification for test case generation. It also supplies a model which can be used to analyze the test results and tell us whether we should accept the module.

In this thesis, we develop a prototype black-box automated testing tool, called Module Reliability Estimation Tool (MRET), based on the work described above. The tool has a graphic user interface. The inputs to the MRET are: a module trace interface specification, a module operational profile specification, the module under test and other necessary information required by the testing model, e.g., the minimum reliability required. MRET can automatically generate test cases, test harness, run the test cases, and estimate the reliability of the module based on the test results and the testing model.