October 17 – 22 , 2010, Dagstuhl Seminar 10421

Model-Based Testing in Practice


Wolfgang Grieskamp (Microsoft Research – Redmond, US)
Robert M. Hierons (Brunel University, GB)
Alexander Pretschner (KIT – Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, DE)

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Software testing is one of the most cost-intensive tasks in the modern software production process. Model-based testing is a light-weight formal method which enables the automatic derivation of tests from software models and their environment. Model-based testing (MBT) has matured as a rich research area in the last decade, with a significant body of research and applications. The academic community is well established with many conferences, workshops, and research projects. Tools for model-based testing have been developed both as research prototypes and as commercial or semi-commercial applications brought to users by midsize and enterprise-level companies, and applied in large scale projects.

In the family of model-driven approaches, model-based testing can be seen as a success story in particular with respect to the degree of mechanical processing and automation that has been achieved, and the adoption in practice. The successful deployment of model-based testing in industrial settings can be seen in the telecommunication domain, chip cards, specific Windows components, and embedded systems in general. An interesting issue is under which circumstances we can expect these successes to carry over to other domains and families of systems as well (e.g., distributed systems; testing Òthe cloudÓ).

This Dagstuhl Seminar brought together top researchers, young scientists, and practitioners to discuss the state of the art, compare it with practical experiences, and derive future directions for model-based testing research and industrialisation. Model-based testing has proved promising even in industrial terms and currently seems at the verge of large-scale deployment.

While previous Dagstuhl seminars around model-based testing (04371 in 2004 and 98361 in 1998) were dedicated to bringing research results into practice, in this seminar we aimed to take advantage of the relative successes of model-based testing and have the discussion guided by available industrial experience. For this reason, this seminar was designed with a particularly high industry participation rate. We also started with a day of talks from industrialist with the focus being on the use of MBT in industry and the challenges faced.

There has been significant progress in MBT since the previous Dagstuhl seminar in 2004. In particular, many more tools are available and there is significant industrial uptake. However, many challenges remain. Some of these challenges were identified in 2004, an example being understanding the relationship between coverage and test quality. In addition, new challenges have arisen. It appears that the move towards highly distributed systems, such as Cloud systems, introduces many interesting scientific and engineering challenges for the community. However, it also provides a great opportunity: these systems are extremely difficult to test in a systematic manner and if effective MBT approaches can be developed for such systems then this should further promote the industrial use of MBT.

Related Dagstuhl Seminar


  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Semantics / Formal Methods
  • Sw-engineering
  • Verification / Logic


  • Testing
  • Modeling
  • Model-Driven Development


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