Specification-based Testing of Reactive Software: A Case Study in Technology Transfer
Porter, Adam A.
Ramming, J. Christopher
Votta, Lawrence G.
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We describe a case study in which we tried to transfer a specification-based testing system from research to practice. We did the case study in two steps: First we conducted a feasibility study in a laboratory setting to estimate the potential costs and benefits of using the system. Next we conducted a usability study, in an industrial setting, to determine whether it would be effective in practice. The case study illustrates that technology transfer efforts can benefit from a greater focus on practitioners' needs, and that this focus helps identify some of the open problems that limit formal methods technology transfer. We also found that there is often a tension between the scope of the problem to be solved and the specificity of the solution. The greater the scope of the problem, the more general the formal method solution and, thus, the more customization that must be done to use it in a particular environment. We suggest that researchers limit the scope of the problems they try to solve to minimize the risk of technology transfer failure. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-97-16)