No assignee for this patent application has been made.
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Generally described, computing devices can be utilized in a variety of contexts such as for exchanging information, facilitating communication between users, facilitating the operation and control of a wide variety devices and processes, and the like. In the context of a manufacturing or production environment, a computing network made up of a number of computing devices, including personal computing devices, server computing devices, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and/or other networked devices can be utilized in conjunction with a communication network, such as the Internet, to facilitate the operation and control of various devices/processes. For example, a networked PLC may be utilized to control the operation of physical manufacturing or processing equipment, such as controllers for valves, power supplies, pumps, machinery, etc. Similarly, a software application, or suite of software applications, may be hosted on a networked computing device (such as a server or personal computing device) to receive instructions regarding the operation of various equipment and transmit the appropriate respective instructions to the appropriate equipment (such as through a PLC).
"A fault in one or more networked computing devices, such a fault in a computing device, can lead to the failure of associated equipment, loss of manufacturing/production time, property damage, and the like. Accordingly, manufacturing/production computing networks (including hardware and software aspects) can be designed with redundant components to avoid fault conditions during execution in a manufacturing/production environment. For example, a PLC may include a 'fail safe' mode such that in the event of a fault, the outputs from the PLC mitigate potential damage to attached equipment or errant instructions that could cause additional faults/damage.
"Computing systems can be tested to verify that requirements for safety and redundancy are met and to discover errors in design/implementation. For example, a testing system can be implemented, such as in a laboratory, that attempts to emulate various commands, instructions, or other environmental information and then measure the response generated by the computing device(s) being tested. The emulated commands, instructions, or other environment information can be embodied as a test case or testing procedure that can be executed by a testing system.
"One approach to the generation of test cases and/or testing procedures for computing device testing involves the utilization of testing framework that is in communication solely with the device under test. This approach, however, can be inefficient in recreating many of the inputs and/or operating environments associated with the device under test. For example, in a system under test including multiple networked computing devices, the testing framework would need to analyze inputs/outputs from each computing device in the system under test in order to accurately test the system. For example, a computing device in a system under test experiencing an error may still be generating an expected output coinciding with an output generated by the computing device entering a 'fail safe' mode. However, in such a fail safe mode, the computing device would not be able to properly process inputs from a control computing device. Accordingly, current testing approaches can become deficient in properly assessing system under test performance as a function of a testing environment."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent application, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure generally relates to the automated testing of a system that includes software or hardware components (referred to herein as the 'system under test' or 'device under test'). In some embodiments, a testing framework generates a set of test cases for a system under test using a grammar. Each test case may perform an action, such as provide an input to the system under test, and result in an output from the system under test. The inputs and outputs are then compared to the expected results to determine whether the system under test is performing correctly. For example, the testing framework can be used to monitor the digital inputs and/or outputs of a programmable logic controller (PLC) and/or determine whether the PLC is performing to its specified behavior. Specifically, the PLC may be analyzed to determine whether it is capable of properly processing control instructions and input signals and/or generating expected output control signals and additional control/feedback information. The data can then be interpreted in the grammar system and/or used as input to a fault isolation engine to determine anomalies in the system under test.
"In an illustrative embodiment, the set of test cases can be managed within the testing framework to facilitate more efficient testing of the device under test. In such an embodiment, the testing framework can obtain an initial set of test cases that are defined in according to the grammar. The grammar can include one or more attributes or tags that correspond to different aspects of the set of test cases. Prior to deriving the set of test cases for the device under test, the testing framework can analyze the grammar corresponding to the initial set of test cases to identify attributes of what would be the resulting set of tests cases. The analysis can include a determination of a number and kind of test cases that would be derived without requiring the actual generation of the initial set of test cases. The resulting analysis can be presented to a user associated with the testing framework, such as via a graphical user interface. Based on the analysis, the grammar corresponding to the grammar corresponding to the initial set of test cases can be modified, such as by modifying one or more tags or attributes of the grammar. The resulting modified grammar can be used to generate a modified set of test cases. Alternatively, the testing framework can repeat the analysis process again to facilitate additional modification of the grammar.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"The present disclosure will now be described in detail below in connection with the following figures in which:
"FIG. 1A illustrates a block diagram of an exemplary system capable of generating a set of test cases according to a grammar;
"FIG. 1B illustrates exemplary components of the testing framework of FIG. 1A, according to an embodiment of the disclosure;
"FIG. 2 illustrates a block diagram of the testing environment of FIG. 1 illustrating the interconnection of inputs and outputs the exemplary components of the systems of FIGS. 1A and 1B; and
"FIG. 3 illustrates a flow diagram illustrative of test case generation routine implemented with a testing framework; and
"FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrative of a screen display generated by a computing device indicative of an analysis of a testing grammar corresponding to a set of test cases to be implemented by a testing framework."
For additional information on this patent application, see: Kube,
Keywords for this news article include: Patents, Software.
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