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Formal model validation through acceptance tests

Formal model validation through acceptance tests
Formal model validation through acceptance tests
The idea of acceptance tests is simple – the business stakeholders collaborate with the development team to write tests that express the desired system behaviour. These tests form a set of use-case scenarios that can be understood by non-technical people and thus serve as requirements (functional specification) as well as acceptance criteria. When formal systems modelling is used as part of the development process, there is a need for domain experts to validate the system models. Acceptance tests are a suitable mechanism for this validation.
In this paper we discuss how the principles of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) can be applied to i) formal systems modeling and ii) validation of behaviour specifications, thus coupling those two tasks. We show how to close the gap between the domain model and the formal systems model, thus enabling the domain expert to write acceptance tests in a high-level language matching the formal specification. We also analyse the benefits of such an approach and propose measures to mitigate identified drawbacks. Our approach is based on the Gherkin language for describing expected behaviour and the iUML-B diagrammatic front-end for Event-B.
Formal Methods, Validation, Acceptance Tests, Event-B, iUML-B, Gherkin, Cucumber
University of Southampton
Fischer, Tomas
2d38d5a2-37f5-444d-89ef-9e2ddce89e09
Snook, Colin
b2055316-9f7a-4b31-8aa1-be0710046af2
Hoang, Thai Son
dcc0431d-2847-4e1d-9a85-54e4d6bab43f
Fischer, Tomas
2d38d5a2-37f5-444d-89ef-9e2ddce89e09
Snook, Colin
b2055316-9f7a-4b31-8aa1-be0710046af2
Hoang, Thai Son
dcc0431d-2847-4e1d-9a85-54e4d6bab43f

Fischer, Tomas, Snook, Colin and Hoang, Thai Son (2018) Formal model validation through acceptance tests University of Southampton 14pp.

Record type: Monograph (Working Paper)

Abstract

The idea of acceptance tests is simple – the business stakeholders collaborate with the development team to write tests that express the desired system behaviour. These tests form a set of use-case scenarios that can be understood by non-technical people and thus serve as requirements (functional specification) as well as acceptance criteria. When formal systems modelling is used as part of the development process, there is a need for domain experts to validate the system models. Acceptance tests are a suitable mechanism for this validation.
In this paper we discuss how the principles of Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) can be applied to i) formal systems modeling and ii) validation of behaviour specifications, thus coupling those two tasks. We show how to close the gap between the domain model and the formal systems model, thus enabling the domain expert to write acceptance tests in a high-level language matching the formal specification. We also analyse the benefits of such an approach and propose measures to mitigate identified drawbacks. Our approach is based on the Gherkin language for describing expected behaviour and the iUML-B diagrammatic front-end for Event-B.

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In preparation date: 1 March 2018
Keywords: Formal Methods, Validation, Acceptance Tests, Event-B, iUML-B, Gherkin, Cucumber

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418973
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418973
PURE UUID: 4fcffd95-bec6-4c43-8513-06005af842d4
ORCID for Colin Snook: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0210-0983
ORCID for Thai Son Hoang: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4095-0732

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Mar 2018 16:30
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 04:09

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Contributors

Author: Tomas Fischer
Author: Colin Snook ORCID iD
Author: Thai Son Hoang ORCID iD

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