An Effective Testing Method for Hardware Related Fault in Embedded Software

Takeshi SUMI  Osamu MIZUNO  Tohru KIKUNO  Masayuki HIRAYAMA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E88-D   No.6   pp.1142-1149
Publication Date: 2005/06/01
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e88-d.6.1142
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Software Engineering for Embedded Systems)
embedded software development,  fault tree analysis,  software testing,  

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According to the proliferation of ubiquitous computing, various products which contain large-size embedded software have been developed. One of most typical features of embedded software is concurrency of software and hardware factors. That is, software has connected deeply into hardware devices. The existence of various hardware make quality assurance of embedded software more difficult. In order to assure quality of embedded software more effectively, this paper discusses features of embedded software and an effective method for quality assurance for embedded software. In this paper, we first analyze a failure distribution of embedded software and discuss the effects of hardware devices on quality of embedded software. Currently, in order to reduce hardware related faults, huge effort for testing with large number of test items is required. Thus, one of the most important issues for quality assurance of embedded software is how to reduce the cost and effort of software testing. Next, focusing on hardware constraints as well as software specifications in embedded software, we propose an evaluation metrics for determinating important functions for quality of embedded software. Furthermore, by referring to the metrics, undesirable behaviors of important functions are identified as root nodes of fault tree analysis. From the result of case study applying the proposed method to actual project data, we confirmed that test items considering the property of embedded software are constructed. We also confirmed that the constructed test items are appropriate to detect hardware related faults in embedded systems.