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Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 8 • Date Aug. 2006

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Displaying Results 1 - 11 of 11
  • [Front cover]

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): c1
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • [Inside front cover]

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): c2
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  • Guest Editors' Introduction to the Special Section on the First International Conference on the Quantitative Evaluation of SysTems (QEST)

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 529 - 530
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  • Backward Bisimulation in Markov Chain Model Checking

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 531 - 546
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (678 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Equivalence relations can be used to reduce the state space of a system model, thereby permitting more efficient analysis. We study backward stochastic bisimulation in the context of model checking continuous-time Markov chains against continuous stochastic logic (CSL) properties. While there are simple CSL properties that are not preserved when reducing the state space of a continuous-time Markov chain using backward stochastic bisimulation, we show that the equivalence can nevertheless be used in the verification of a practically significant class of CSL properties. We consider an extension of these results to Markov reward models and continuous stochastic reward logic. Furthermore, we identify the logical properties for which the requirement on the equality of state-labeling sets (normally imposed on state equivalences in a model-checking context) can be omitted from the definition of the equivalence, resulting in a better state-space reduction View full abstract»

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  • Analysis of Restart Mechanisms in Software Systems

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 547 - 558
    Cited by:  Papers (13)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1044 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Restarts or retries are a common phenomenon in computing systems, for instance, in preventive maintenance, software rejuvenation, or when a failure is suspected. Typically, one sets a time-out to trigger the restart. We analyze and optimize time-out strategies for scenarios in which the expected required remaining time of a task is not always decreasing with the time invested in it. Examples of such tasks include the download of Web pages, randomized algorithms, distributed queries, and jobs subject to network or other failures. Assuming the independence of the completion time of successive tries, we derive computationally attractive expressions for the moments of the completion time, as well as for the probability that a task is able to meet a deadline. These expressions facilitate efficient algorithms to compute optimal restart strategies and are promising candidates for pragmatic online optimization of restart timers View full abstract»

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  • Saturation for a General Class of Models

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 559 - 570
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2512 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Implicit techniques for construction and representation of the reachability set of a high-level model have become quite efficient for certain types of models. In particular, previous work developed a "saturation" algorithm that exploits asynchronous behavior to efficiently construct the reachability set using multiway decision diagrams, but using a Kronecker product expression to represent each model event. For models whose events do not naturally fall into this category, use of the saturation algorithm requires adjusting the model by combining components or splitting events into subevents until a Kronecker product expression is possible. In practice, this can lead to additional overheads during reachability set construction. This paper presents a new version of the saturation algorithm that works for a general class of models: models whose events are not necessarily expressible as Kronecker products, models containing events with complex priority structures, and models whose state variables have unknown bounds. Experimental results are given for several examples View full abstract»

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  • Design by Contract to Improve Software Vigilance

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 571 - 586
    Cited by:  Papers (16)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2299 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Design by contract is a lightweight technique for embedding elements of formal specification (such as invariants, pre and postconditions) into an object-oriented design. When contracts are made executable, they can play the role of embedded, online oracles. Executable contracts allow components to be responsive to erroneous states and, thus, may help in detecting and locating faults. In this paper, we define vigilance as the degree to which a program is able to detect an erroneous state at runtime. Diagnosability represents the effort needed to locate a fault once it has been detected. In order to estimate the benefit of using design by contract, we formalize both notions of vigilance and diagnosability as software quality measures. The main steps of measure elaboration are given, from informal definitions of the factors to be measured to the mathematical model of the measures. As is the standard in this domain, the parameters are then fixed through actual measures, based on a mutation analysis in our case. Several measures are presented that reveal and estimate the contribution of contracts to the overall quality of a system in terms of vigilance and diagnosability View full abstract»

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  • Triggered Message Sequence Charts

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 587 - 607
    Cited by:  Papers (11)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1340 KB)  

    This paper introduces triggered message sequence charts (TMSCs), a graphical, mathematically well-founded framework for capturing scenario-based system requirements of distributed systems. Like message sequence charts (MSCs), TMSCs are graphical depictions of scenarios, or exchanges of messages between processes in a distributed system. Unlike MSCs, however, TMSCs are equipped with a notion of trigger that permits requirements to be made conditional, a notion of partiality indicating that a scenario may be subsequently extended, and a notion of refinement for assessing whether or not a more detailed specification correctly elaborates on a less detailed one. The TMSC notation also includes a collection of composition operators allowing structure to be introduced into scenario specifications so that interactions among different scenarios may be studied. In the first part of this paper, TMSCs are introduced and their use in support of requirements modeling is illustrated via two extended examples. The second part develops the mathematical underpinnings of the language View full abstract»

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  • Using Mutation Analysis for Assessing and Comparing Testing Coverage Criteria

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): 608 - 624
    Cited by:  Papers (81)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3307 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The empirical assessment of test techniques plays an important role in software testing research. One common practice is to seed faults in subject software, either manually or by using a program that generates all possible mutants based on a set of mutation operators. The latter allows the systematic, repeatable seeding of large numbers of faults, thus facilitating the statistical analysis of fault detection effectiveness of test suites; however, we do not know whether empirical results obtained this way lead to valid, representative conclusions. Focusing on four common control and data flow criteria (block, decision, C-use, and P-use), this paper investigates this important issue based on a middle size industrial program with a comprehensive pool of test cases and known faults. Based on the data available thus far, the results are very consistent across the investigated criteria as they show that the use of mutation operators is yielding trustworthy results: generated mutants can be used to predict the detection effectiveness of real faults. Applying such a mutation analysis, we then investigate the relative cost and effectiveness of the above-mentioned criteria by revisiting fundamental questions regarding the relationships between fault detection, test suite size, and control/data flow coverage. Although such questions have been partially investigated in previous studies, we can use a large number of mutants, which helps decrease the impact of random variation in our analysis and allows us to use a different analysis approach. Our results are then; compared with published studies, plausible reasons for the differences are provided, and the research leads us to suggest a way to tune the mutation analysis process to possible differences in fault detection probabilities in a specific environment View full abstract»

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  • TSE Information for authors

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): c3
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  • [Back cover]

    Publication Year: 2006 , Page(s): c4
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Aims & Scope

The IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering is interested in well-defined theoretical results and empirical studies that have potential impact on the construction, analysis, or management of software. The scope of this Transactions ranges from the mechanisms through the development of principles to the application of those principles to specific environments. Specific topic areas include: a) development and maintenance methods and models, e.g., techniques and principles for the specification, design, and implementation of software systems, including notations and process models; b) assessment methods, e.g., software tests and validation, reliability models, test and diagnosis procedures, software redundancy and design for error control, and the measurements and evaluation of various aspects of the process and product; c) software project management, e.g., productivity factors, cost models, schedule and organizational issues, standards; d) tools and environments, e.g., specific tools, integrated tool environments including the associated architectures, databases, and parallel and distributed processing issues; e) system issues, e.g., hardware-software trade-off; and f) state-of-the-art surveys that provide a synthesis and comprehensive review of the historical development of one particular area of interest.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Matthew B. Dwyer
Dept. Computer Science and Engineering
256 Avery Hall
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lincoln, NE 68588-0115 USA
tseeicdwyer@computer.org