Model-based test generation using extended symbolic grammars

Hai Feng Guo, Mahadevan Subramaniam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A novel, model-based test case generation approach for validating reactive systems, especially those supporting richly structured data inputs and/or interactions, is presented. Given an executable system model and an extended symbolic grammar specifying plausible system inputs, the approach performs a model-based simulation to (i) ensure the consistency of the model with respect to the specified inputs, and (ii) generate corresponding test cases for validating the system. The model-based simulation produces a state transition diagram (STD) automatically justifying the model runtime behaviors within the test case coverage. The STD can further be transformed to produce an evolved symbolic grammar, which can then be used to incrementally generate a refined set of test cases. As a case study, we present a live sequence chart (LSC) model-based test generator, named LCT in short, for LSC simulation and consistency testing. The evolved symbolic grammar produced by the simulator can either be used to generate practical test cases for software testing, or be further refined by applying our model-based test generation approach again with additional test coverage criteria. We further show that LSCs can also be used to specify and test certain temporal system properties during the model simulation. Their satisfaction, reflected in the STD, can either be served as a directive for selective test generation, or a basis for further temporal property model checking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-455
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Live sequence chart
  • Model-based test generation
  • Symbolic grammar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Model-based test generation using extended symbolic grammars'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this