Using Production Grammers in Software Testing
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Using Production Grammers in Software Testing

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Using Production Grammers in Software Testing Using Production Grammers in Software Testing Presentation Transcript

  • Using Production Grammars in Software Testing
    • How to test Large, complex and safety critical software Systems ?
    • Extensible typesafe system, such as Java , rely critically on a large and complex software base for their overall protection and integrity.
    • Traditional Testing Techniques are time consuming, expensive and imprecise.
    • Commercial virtual machines deployed so far exhibited numerous bugs and security holes.
    • Strategy Outline
    • Using Production grammars in testing large, complex and safety critical software systems.
    • Now we describe “Lava” a domain specific language for specifying production grammars.
    • We use “Lava” to generate effective test suite for java virtual machine.
    • Effectiveness of production grammars in generating complex test cases combined with comparative and variant testing techniques achieve code and value coverage.
  • What is Lava?
    • A special purpose language for specifying production grammars.
    • It summarizes how production grammars can be used as part of concerted engineering effort to test large systems.
    • Applying production grammars written in LAVA to testing of java virtual machines.
    • Safety of modern virtual machines like Java depends critically on three large and complex software components.
    • A verifier for static inspection of untrusted code against a set of safety axioms.
    • An interpreter or a compiler to respect instruction semantics during execution.
    • A running system to correctly provide services such as threading.
  • Why don’t we use scripts for automatic testing using General purpose language for test generation?
    • Writing such scripts is time consuming and difficult.
    • Managing many such scripts is operationally difficult especially as they evolve during life cycle of the project.
    • Un Structured nature of general purpose language poses a steep learning curve for those who need to understand and modify the test scripts.
    • Fundamentally a general purpose language is too general and therefore un-structured for test generation.
  • Production Grammars
    • “ A collection of non-terminal to terminal mappings that resembles a regular parsing grammars, but is used “in reverse ”
    • Reverse means that instead of parsing a sequence of tokens into higher level constructs, a production grammars generates a stream of tokens from a set of non-terminals that specify the overall structure of the stream.
    • Production grammars are well suited for test generation because
    • They can effectively create diverse test cases.
    • They can provide guidance on how the test cases they generate ought to behave.
  • How Production grammars attack Oracle Problem?
    • What is Oracle Problem ?
    • It is hard to determine the correct system behavior for automatically generated test cases.
    • In worst cases , automated test generation may require reverse engineering and manual examination to determine the expected behavior of the system on the given input.
    • Addressing the Problem
    • Test case generated with production grammars can be used in conjunction with comparative testing to create effective test suite without human involvement.
    • An extended production grammars language can concurrently generate certificates for test cases.
  • Automated Testing Requirements: Goals
    • Automatic : Testing should proceed without human involvement and therefore should be cheap.
    • Complete : Testing should generate numerous test cases that cover much of the functionality of a virtual machine as possible.
    • Conservative : Bad java byte codes should not be allowed to pass undetected through the byte code verifier.
    • Well Structured : Examining , directing, check pointing and resuming verification efforts should be simple.
    • Efficient: Testing should result in a high confidence java virtual machine within a reasonable amount of time.
  • Test Generation Process
    • A generic code-generator –generator parses a java byte code grammar written in Lava and emits a specialized code-generator.
    • The code-generator is a state machine that in turn takes a seed as input and applies the grammar to it.
    • The seed consists of high-level description that guides the production process.
    • Running the code-generator on a seed production test cases in java byte code that can be used for testing.
  • High Level Structures of Test Generation Process
  • Lava Grammars
    • The input to the code-generator-generator consists of conventional grammar description.
    • The context free grammar consists of productions with left hand side (LHS) containing a single non-terminal.
    • Matching against the input.
    • If match found , Replace the LHS with RHS (Right hand side)
    • Two Phase Approach is used for increased efficiency.
    • How ?
  • The Grammar of the Lava input language
    • The code-generator-generator converts the grammar specification into a set of action tables .
    • It generates a code-generator that perform the actual code production based on given seed.
    • Within the code-generator the main data structure is a new-line separated stream, initially set to correspond to seed input.
    • Each line in the stream is scanned.
    • Occurrences of an LHS are replaced by corresponding RHS.
    • What if there is more than one action for a given match?
    • Code-generator picks an outcome probabilistically , bases on weights that can be associated with each production.
    • When all possible non-terminals are exhausted , the code-generator outputs the resulting system.
    • Lava Grammars can be annotated with three properties.
    • Each Production rule can have an associated name. Along with each test case , the code-generator creates a summary of file listing the names of the grammar rules.
    • Each grammar rule in Lava may have an associated limit on how many times it can be exercised.
    • In order to enable the production of context-sensitive outputs, Lava allows an optional code fragment, called an action, to be associated with each production.
  • A simplified Lava grammar and corresponding seed
    • In sample grammar written in Lava
    • The insts production has a specified limit of 5000 invocations, which restricts the size of generated test case.
    • The two main production , jsrstmt and ifeqstmt , generate instruction sequences that perform subroutine calls and integer equality tests.
    • These concise descriptions, when exercised on the seed shown, generate a valid class file with complicated branching behavior.
    • Equal weighting between if and the jsr statements ensures that they are represented equally in the test cases.
    • A weight of 0 for the emptyinst production effectively disables the production until the limit on insts production is reached, to ensure that test generation does not terminate early.
  • A sample method body produced by the grammar
  • What can be done?
    • Test cases can be used to test for easy-to-detect errors like system crashes.
    • Type safe systems like virtual machines are never supposed to crash on any input.
    • Stylized test cases generated by Lava for characterizing the time complexity of our verifier as a function of basic block size and total code length.
    • Parameterized nature of grammar facilitated test case construction and code-generator with different weights and seeds can produce different cases.
    • Generated test can verify the correctness of Java components that perform transformations.
  • Comparative Testing
    • “ To direct the same test cases to two or more versions of a virtual machine and to compare their outputs”
    • A discrepancy indicates that at least one of the virtual machines differ from others .
    • It typically requires human involvement to determine the cause and severity of discrepancy.
    • We expand comparative testing by introducing variations into test cases generated by production grammars.
    • A variation is simple a random modification of the test case to generate a new test.
  • Comparative Evaluation
    • A variation engine injects errors into a set of test bases, which are fed to two different byte code verifiers.
    • A discrepancy indicates an error, a diversion from specification, or an ambiguity in the specification.
  • Self-Describing Test Cases
    • Extending the grammar testing to generate certificates concurrently with test case.
    • What is a Certificate?
    • “ A certificate is a behavioral description that specifies the intended outcome of the generated test case.”
    • It acts as an oracle by which the correctness of the tested system can be evaluated in isolation.
    • Certificates allows us to capture both static and dynamic properties of test programs like their safety, side effects or computed values.
    • The behavior of a virtual machine can then be compared against the certificate to check that the virtual machine is implemented correctly.
    • Two types of useful certificates may accompany synthetically generated code.
    • First form of certificate is a proof over the grammar, which can accompany all test programs generated by that specifications as a guarantee that they possess certain properties.
    • Second form of certificate describe the run time behavior of a specific test.
  • Summary
    • Complex test cases generated by production grammars achieved as good as or better code coverage than the best hand-generated tests.
    • They are much easier to construct.
    • Production grammars used in conjunction with comparative evaluations to check compiler implementations for compatibility.
    • Comparative testing with variations is fast.