Thursday July 7th 2022

We are very proud to announce that the paper of Xavier van Dommelen, Machiel van der Bijl and Andy Pimentel has been accepted for the 29th International Conference on Formal Methods for Industrial Critical Systems (FMICS). In this work we research the applicability of model based testing (MBT) within the IoT protocol testing domain and show how MBT can assist in overcoming the testing challenges.

Internet of Things (IoT) is a popular term to describe systems and devices that connect and interact with each other through a network, e.g., the Internet. These devices communicate with each other via a communication protocol, such as Zigbee or Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the subject of the paper. Communication protocols are notoriously hard to implement correctly and a large set of test cases is needed to check for conformance to the standard. Many of us have encountered communication problems in practice, such as random mobile phone disconnects, difficulty obtaining a Bluetooth connection, etc. In this paper, we research the application of industry strength model based testing (MBT) within the IoT domain. This technique contributes to higher quality specifications and more efficient and more thorough conformance testing.

We show how we can model part of the BLE protocol specification using the Axini Modeling Platform (AMP). Based on the model, AMP is then able to automatically test the conformance of a BLE device. With this approach, we found specification flaws in the official BLE specifications as well as conformance errors on a certified BLE system.

Our next step, that is already in progress, is to extend the model and the tested functionality, in particular related to two communicating devices. Furthermore, we are trying to get in touch with the Bluetooth SIG to see if this approach has added value for testing and certification.

If you are interested in modeling and testing IoT devices or communicating systems in general, get in touch with Dr. Ir. Machiel van der Bijl.