Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Simplifying network testing: Techniques and approaches towards automating and simplifying the testing process
by Djouvas, Constantinos, Ph.D., City University of New York, 2009, 185; 3349504
Abstract (Summary)

The dramatic increase of companies and consumers that heavily depend on networks mandates the creation of reliable network devices. Such reliability can be achieved by testing both the conformance of individual protocols of an implementation to their corresponding specifications and the interaction between different protocols. With the increase of computer power and the advances in network testing research, one would expect that efficient approaches for testing network implementations would be available. However, such approaches are not available due to reasons like the complexity of network protocols, the need for different protocols to interoperate, the limited information on implementation because of proprietary codes, and the potentially unbounded size of the network to be tested.

To address these issues, a novel technique is proposed that improves the quality of the test while reducing the time and effort network testing requires. The proposed approach achieves these goals, by automating the process of creating models to be used for validating an implementation. More precisely, it utilizes observations acquired by monitoring the behavior of the implementation for the automatic generation of models. In this way, generated models can accurately represent the actual implementation. Thus, testing is reduced to the problem of verifying that certain properties hold on the generated model. This work presents algorithms that efficiently create models from observations and shows their effectiveness through the presentation of three different examples.

In addition, the difficulty of validating models using theorem provers is addressed. To address this issue, techniques available in the literature are utilized and approaches that assist testers with completing proofs are proposed. Results suggest that the complexity of making proofs using theorem proving can be reduced when models are members of the same class, i.e., their structure can be predicted.

A final problem this work addresses is that of scale, i.e., the impracticality or even impossibility of testing every possible network configuration. To address this problem, the concept of "self-similarity" is introduced. A self-similar network has the property that can be sufficiently represented by a smaller network. Thus, proving the correctness of a smaller network is sufficient for proving the correctness of any self-similar network that can be represented by this smaller one.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Griffeth, Nancy D.
Commitee: Ji, Ping, Lynch, Nancy, Uyar, Umit
School: City University of New York
Department: Computer Science
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Computer science
Keywords: Network testing, Self-similarity
Publication Number: 3349504
ISBN: 978-1-109-05270-1
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