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Information Flow in Software Testing: An Interview Study with Embedded Software Engineering Practitioners
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. Westermo Reserarch and Development AB. (Software Testing Laboratory)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1688-6937
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2416-4205
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0611-2655
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5032-2310
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2019 (English)In: IEEE Access, E-ISSN 2169-3536, Vol. 7, p. 46434-46453Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Activities in software testing is a challenge for companies that develop embedded systems where multiple functional teams and technologically difficult tasks are common. This study aims at exploring the information flow in software testing, the perceived challenges and good approaches, for a more effective information flow. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twelve software practitioners working at five organizations in the embedded software industry in Sweden. The interviews were analyzed by means of thematic analysis. The data was classified into six themes that affect the information flow in software testing: testing and troubleshooting, communication, processes, technology, artifacts and organization. We further identified a number of challenges such as poor feedback and understanding exactly what has been tested; and approaches such as fast feedback as well as custom automated test reporting; to achieve an improved information flow. Our results indicate that there are many opportunities to improve this information flow: a first mitigation step is to better understand the challenges and approaches. Future work is needed to realize this in practice, for example to shorten feedback cycles between roles, as well as enhance exploration and visualization of test results

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 7, p. 46434-46453
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-40930DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2909093ISI: 000465621200001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85064750453OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-40930DiVA, id: diva2:1247851
Funder
Knowledge Foundation, 20150277Available from: 2018-09-13 Created: 2018-09-13 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Automated System Level Software Testing of Networked Embedded Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Automated System Level Software Testing of Networked Embedded Systems
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Embedded systems are ubiquitous and play critical roles in management systems for industry and transport. Software failures in these domains may lead to loss of production or even loss of life, so the software in these systems needs to be reliable. Software testing is a standard approach for quality assurance of embedded software, and many software development processes strive for test automation. However, important challenges for successful software test automation are: lack of time for testing, lack of test environment availability, and an excess of test results information that renders decision-making hard.

In this thesis these challenges are tackled in three ways. First, in order to combat lack of time for testing, a method for automated system level regression test selection was implemented and evaluated using data from several years of nightly testing in a real world industrial setting. It was shown that automated test selection can be integrated into system level nightly testing and solve problems such as nightly testing not finishing on time. Second, in order to improve the hardware coverage of devices in the test environment and how test cases map to hardware, an algorithm based on the subgraph isomorphism problem was implemented and evaluated using industrial data. This implementation was significantly faster than the previous implementation, and the mapping process was done in such a way that hardware coverage increased over iterations. Third, to better understand decision-making in critical steps of the software development process in an industrial setting, two empirical studies were conducted. The results showed how visualizations and a test results database support decision-making. Results also describe the overall flow of information in software testing: from developers to hardware, and back to developers via the test results database.

Automated system level software testing of networked embedded systems can be difficult to achieve. This thesis addresses several important challenges and provides results that are of interest both to industrial practitioners and researchers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2018
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 275
National Category
Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-41109 (URN)978-91-7485-408-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-11-13, Room Zeta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-10-02 Created: 2018-10-02 Last updated: 2018-10-09Bibliographically approved

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Enoiu, Eduard PaulAfzal, WasifDaniel, Sundmark

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