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There is currently a high level of consciousness of the importance and impact of formally testing communicating networks. By applying formal description techniques and formal testing approaches, we are able to validate the conformance of implementations to the requirements of communication protocols. In this context, passive testing techniques are used whenever the system under test cannot be interrupted or access to its interfaces is unavailable. Under such conditions, communication traces are extracted from points of observation and compared to the expected behavior formally specified as properties. Since most works on the subject come from a formal model context, they are optimized for testing the control part of the communication with a secondary focus on the data parts. In the current work, we provide a data-centric approach for black-box testing of network protocols. A formalism is provided to express complex properties in a bottom-up fashion starting from expected data relations in messages. A novel algorithm is provided for evaluation of properties in protocol traces. Experimental results on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traces for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) services are provided.
Date of Publication: June 2013