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  • 1.
    Strandberg, Per Erik
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. Westermo Research and Development AB, Sweden.
    Automated System Level Software Testing of Networked Embedded Systems2018Licentiate 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.

  • 2.
    Strandberg, Per Erik
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. Westermo Network Technologies AB, Västerås, Sweden.
    Ethical Interviews in Software Engineering2019In: Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, 13th International Symposium on ESEM19, 2019, article id 8870192Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Despite a long history, numerous laws and regulations, ethics remains an unnatural topic for many software engineering researchers. Poor research ethics may lead to mistrust of research results, lost funding and retraction of publications. A core principle for research ethics is confidentiality, and anonymization is a standard approach to guarantee it. Many guidelines for qualitative software engineering research, and for qualitative research in general, exist, but these do not penetrate how and why to anonymize interview data. Aims: In this paper we aim to identify ethical guidelines for software engineering interview studies involving industrial practitioners. Method: By learning from previous experiences and listening to the authority of existing guidelines in the more mature field of medicine as well as in software engineering, a comprehensive set of checklists for interview studies was distilled. Results: The elements of an interview study were identified and ethical considerations and recommendations for each step were produced, in particular with respect to anonymization. Important ethical principles are: consent, beneficence, confidentiality, scientific value, researcher skill, justice, respect for law, and ethical reviews. Conclusions: The most important contribution of this study is the set of checklists for ethical interview studies. Future work is needed to refine these guidelines with respect to legal aspects and ethical boards

  • 3.
    Strandberg, Per Erik
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems. Westermo R & D AB, Sweden.
    Afzal, Wasif
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Daniel, Sundmark
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Decision Making and Visualizations Based on Test Results2018In: Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, 12th International Symposium on ESEM18, 2018, article id 34Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Testing is one of the main methods for quality assurance in the development of embedded software, as well as in software engineering in general. Consequently, test results (and how they are reported and visualized) may substantially influence business decisions in software-intensive organizations. Aims: This case study examines the role of test results from automated nightly software testing and the visualizations for decision making they enable at an embedded systems company in Sweden. In particular, we want to identify the use of the visualizations for supporting decisions from three aspects: in daily work, at feature branch merge, and at release time. Method: We conducted an embedded case study with multiple units of analysis by conducting interviews, questionnaires, using archival data and participant observations. Results: Several visualizations and reports built on top of the test results database are utilized in supporting daily work, merging a feature branch to the master and at release time. Some important visualizations are: lists of failing test cases, easy access to log files, and heatmap trend plots. The industrial practitioners perceived the visualizations and reporting as valuable, however they also mentioned several areas of improvement such as better ways of visualizing test coverage in a functional area as well as better navigation between different views. Conclusions: We conclude that visualizations of test results are a vital decision making tool for a variety of roles and tasks in embedded software development, however the visualizations need to be continuously improved to keep their value for its stakeholders.

  • 4.
    Strandberg, Per Erik
    et al.
    Westermo Research and Development AB, Västerås, Sweden.
    Sundmark, Daniel
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Afzal, Wasif
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Ostrand, Thomas
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Weyuker, Elaine
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Embedded Systems.
    Experience Report: Automated System Level Regression Test Prioritization Using Multiple Factors2016In: 27th International Symposium on Software Reliability Engineering ISSRE'16, 2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We propose a new method of determining an effective ordering of regression test cases, and describe its implementation as an automated tool called SuiteBuilder developed by Westermo Research and Development AB. The tool generates an efficient order to run the cases in an existing test suite by using expected or observed test duration and combining priorities of multiple factors associated with test cases, including previous fault detection success, interval since last executed, and modifications to the code tested. The method and tool were developed to address problems in the traditional process of regression testing, such as lack of time to run a complete regression suite, failure to detect bugs in time, and tests that are repeatedly omitted. The tool has been integrated into the existing nightly test framework for Westermo software that runs on large-scale data communication systems.  In experimental evaluation of the tool, we found significant improvement in regression testing results. The re-ordered test suites finish within the available time, the majority of fault-detecting test cases are located in the first third of the suite, no important test case is omitted, and the necessity for manual work on the suites is greatly reduced.

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