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Principles and methods of Testing Finite State Machines  a survey
 PROCEEDINGS OF IEEE
, 1996
"... With advanced computer technology, systems are getting larger to fulfill more complicated tasks, however, they are also becoming less reliable. Consequently, testing is an indispensable part of system design and implementation; yet it has proved to be a formidable task for complex systems. This moti ..."
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Cited by 334 (14 self)
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With advanced computer technology, systems are getting larger to fulfill more complicated tasks, however, they are also becoming less reliable. Consequently, testing is an indispensable part of system design and implementation; yet it has proved to be a formidable task for complex systems. This motivates the study of testing finite state machines to ensure the correct functioning of systems and to discover aspects of their behavior. A finite state machine contains a finite number of states and produces outputs on state transitions after receiving inputs. Finite state machines are widely used to model systems in diverse areas, including sequential circuits, certain types of programs, and, more recently, communication protocols. In a testing problem we have a machine about which we lack some information; we would like to deduce this information by providing a sequence of inputs to the machine and observing the outputs produced. Because of its practical importance and theoretical interest, the problem of testing finite state machines has been studied in different areas and at various times. The earliest published literature on this topic dates back to the 50’s. Activities in the 60’s and early 70’s were motivated mainly by automata theory and sequential circuit testing. The area seemed to have mostly died down until a few years ago when the testing problem was resurrected and is now being studied anew due to its applications to conformance testing of communication protocols. While some old problems which had been open for decades were resolved recently, new concepts and more intriguing problems from new applications emerge. We review the fundamental problems in testing finite state machines and techniques for solving these problems, tracing progress in the area from its inception to the present and the state of the art. In addition, we discuss extensions of finite state machines and some other topics related to testing.
On the Undecidability of Probabilistic Planning and InfiniteHorizon Partially Observable Markov Decision Problems
, 1999
"... We investigate the computability of problems in probabilistic planning and partially observable infinitehorizon Markov decision processes. The undecidability of the stringexistence problem for probabilistic finite automata is adapted to show that the following problem of plan existence in pr ..."
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Cited by 106 (0 self)
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We investigate the computability of problems in probabilistic planning and partially observable infinitehorizon Markov decision processes. The undecidability of the stringexistence problem for probabilistic finite automata is adapted to show that the following problem of plan existence in probabilistic planning is undecidable: given a probabilistic planning problem, determine whether there exists a plan with success probability exceeding a desirable threshold. Analogous policyexistence problems for partially observable infinitehorizon Markov decision processes under discounted and undiscounted total reward models, averagereward models, and stateavoidance models are all shown to be undecidable. The results apply to corresponding approximation problems as well. 1 Introduction We show that problems in probabilistic planning (Kushmerick, Hanks, & Weld 1995; Boutilier, Dean, & Hanks 1999) and infinitehorizon partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) (L...
On the Undecidability of Probabilistic Planning and Related Stochastic Optimization Problems
 Artificial Intelligence
, 2003
"... Automated planning, the problem of how an agent achieves a goal given a repertoire of actions, is one of the foundational and most widely studied problems in the AI literature. The original formulation of the problem makes strong assumptions regarding the agent's knowledge and control over the ..."
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Cited by 73 (0 self)
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Automated planning, the problem of how an agent achieves a goal given a repertoire of actions, is one of the foundational and most widely studied problems in the AI literature. The original formulation of the problem makes strong assumptions regarding the agent's knowledge and control over the world, namely that its information is complete and correct, and that the results of its actions are deterministic and known.
Black box checking
 In FORTE/PSTV
, 1999
"... Even if access to the internal structure of the tested system is possible, it is not always a good idea to use it when performing tests, as this may lead to a bias in the testing process. Furthermore, the ..."
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Cited by 57 (1 self)
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Even if access to the internal structure of the tested system is possible, it is not always a good idea to use it when performing tests, as this may lead to a bias in the testing process. Furthermore, the
Recursive Markov decision processes and recursive stochastic games
 In Proc. of 32nd Int. Coll. on Automata, Languages, and Programming (ICALP’05
, 2005
"... Abstract. We introduce Recursive Markov Decision Processes (RMDPs) and Recursive Simple Stochastic Games (RSSGs), and study the decidability and complexity of algorithms for their analysis and verification. These models extend Recursive Markov Chains (RMCs), introduced in [EY05a,EY05b] as a natural ..."
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Cited by 52 (11 self)
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Abstract. We introduce Recursive Markov Decision Processes (RMDPs) and Recursive Simple Stochastic Games (RSSGs), and study the decidability and complexity of algorithms for their analysis and verification. These models extend Recursive Markov Chains (RMCs), introduced in [EY05a,EY05b] as a natural model for verification of probabilistic procedural programs and related systems involving both recursion and probabilistic behavior. RMCs define a class of denumerable Markov chains with a rich theory generalizing that of stochastic contextfree grammars and multitype branching processes, and they are also intimately related to probabilistic pushdown systems. RMDPs & RSSGs extend RMCs with one controller or two adversarial players, respectively. Such extensions are useful for modeling nondeterministic and concurrent behavior, as well as modeling a system’s interactions with an environment. We provide a number of upper and lower bounds for deciding, given an RMDP (or RSSG) A and probability p, whether player 1 has a strategy to force termination at a desired exit with probability at least p. We also address “qualitative ” termination questions, where p = 1, and model checking questions. 1
ModelBased Testing of ObjectOriented Reactive Systems with Spec Explorer
, 2007
"... Testing is one of the costliest aspects of commercial software development. Modelbased testing is a promising approach addressing these deficits. At Microsoft, modelbased testing technology developed by the Foundations of Software Engineering group in Microsoft Research has been used since 2003. T ..."
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Cited by 34 (8 self)
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Testing is one of the costliest aspects of commercial software development. Modelbased testing is a promising approach addressing these deficits. At Microsoft, modelbased testing technology developed by the Foundations of Software Engineering group in Microsoft Research has been used since 2003. The second generation of this tool set, Spec Explorer, deployed in 2004, is now used on a daily basis by Microsoft product groups for testing operating system components,.NET framework components and other areas. This chapter provides a comprehensive survey of the concepts of the tool and their foundations. 1
Optimal strategies for testing nondeterministic systems
 In ISSTA’04, volume 29 of Software Engineering Notes
, 2004
"... This paper deals with testing of nondeterministic software systems. We assume that a model of the nondeterministic system is given by a directed graph with two kind of vertices: states and choice points. Choice points represent the nondeterministic behaviour of the implementation under test (IUT). E ..."
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Cited by 25 (6 self)
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This paper deals with testing of nondeterministic software systems. We assume that a model of the nondeterministic system is given by a directed graph with two kind of vertices: states and choice points. Choice points represent the nondeterministic behaviour of the implementation under test (IUT). Edges represent transitions. They have costs and probabilities. Test case generation in this setting amounts to generation of a game strategy. The two players are the testing tool (TT) and the IUT. The game explores the graph. The TT leads the IUT by selecting an edge at the state vertices. At the choice points the control goes to the IUT. A game strategy decides which edge should be taken by the TT in each state. This paper presents three novel algorithms 1) to determine an optimal strategy for the bounded reachability game, where optimality means maximizing the probability to reach any of the given final states from a given start state while at the same time minimizing the costs of traversal; 2) to determine a winning strategy for the bounded reachability game, which guarantees that given final vertices are reached, regardless how the IUT reacts; 3) to determine a fast converging edge covering strategy, which guarantees that the probability to cover all edges quickly converges to 1 if TT follows the strategy.
Play to test
 In FATES’05
, 2005
"... Abstract. Testing tasks can be viewed (and organized!) as games against nature. We study reachability games in the context of testing. Such games are ubiquitous. A single industrial test suite may involve many instances of a reachability game. Hence the importance of optimal or near optimal strategi ..."
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Cited by 19 (9 self)
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Abstract. Testing tasks can be viewed (and organized!) as games against nature. We study reachability games in the context of testing. Such games are ubiquitous. A single industrial test suite may involve many instances of a reachability game. Hence the importance of optimal or near optimal strategies for reachability games. One can use linear programming or the value iteration method of Markov decision process theory to find optimal strategies. Both methods have been implemented in an industrial modelbased testing tool, Spec Explorer, developed at Microsoft Research. 1
Complexity results for InfiniteHorizon Markov Decision Processes
, 2000
"... Markov decision processes (MDPs) are models of dynamic decision making under uncertainty. These models arise in diverse applications and have been developed extensively in fields such as operations research, control engineering, and the decision sciences in general. Recent research, especially in a ..."
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Cited by 18 (3 self)
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Markov decision processes (MDPs) are models of dynamic decision making under uncertainty. These models arise in diverse applications and have been developed extensively in fields such as operations research, control engineering, and the decision sciences in general. Recent research, especially in artificial intelligence, has highlighted the significance of studying the computational properties of MDP problems. We address