Requirements-Aided Automatic Test Case Generation for Industrial Cyber-physical Systems

08/17/2021 ∙ by Roopak Sinha, et al. ∙ 0

Industrial cyber-physical systems require complex distributed software to orchestrate many heterogeneous mechatronic components and control multiple physical processes. Industrial automation software is typically developed in a model-driven fashion where abstractions of physical processes called plant models are co-developed and iteratively refined along with the control code. Testing such multi-dimensional systems is extremely difficult because often models might not be accurate, do not correspond accurately with subsequent refinements, and the software must eventually be tested on the real plant, especially in safety-critical systems like nuclear plants. This paper proposes a framework wherein high-level functional requirements are used to automatically generate test cases for designs at all abstraction levels in the model-driven engineering process. Requirements are initially specified in natural language and then analyzed and specified using a formalized ontology. The requirements ontology is then refined along with controller and plant models during design and development stages such that test cases can be generated automatically at any stage. A representative industrial water process system case study illustrates the strengths of the proposed formalism. The requirements meta-model proposed by the CESAR European project is used for requirements engineering while IEC 61131-3 and model-driven concepts are used in the design and development phases. A tool resulting from the proposed framework called REBATE (Requirements Based Automatic Testing Engine) is used to generate and execute test cases for increasingly concrete controller and plant models.

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