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Title: Reaching and distinguishing states of distributed systems
Authors: Hierons, RM
Keywords: Distributed systems;Testing
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Citation: SIAM Journal on Computing 39(8): 3480-3500,
Abstract: Some systems interact with their environment at physically distributed interfaces, called ports, and in testing such a system it is normal to place a tester at each port. Each tester observes only the events at its port and it is known that this limited observational power introduces additional controllability and observability problems into testing. Given a multi-port finite state machine (FSM) M, we consider the problems of defining strategies for the testers to either reach a given state of M or to distinguish two states of M. These are important problems since most techniques for testing from a single-port FSM use sequences that reach and distinguish states. Both problems can be solved in low-order polynomial time for single-port FSMs but we prove that the corresponding decision problems are undecidable for multi-port FSMs. However, we also show that they can be solved in low order polynomial times for deterministic FSMs if we restrict attention to controllable tests. These results have important ramifications for testing from a multi-port FSM since they suggest that methods for testing from a single-port FSMs cannot be easily adapted. In addition, two FSMs can be distinguished if and only if their initial states can be distinguished and so the results suggest that, in contrast to single-port FSMs, we cannot expect to produce general complete test generation methods for multi-port FSMs.
ISSN: 0097-5397
Appears in Collections:Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Research Papers
Software Engineering (B-SERC)

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