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See detailAUTOMATED DEBUGGING AND FAULT LOCALIZATION OF MATLAB/SIMULINK MODELS
Liu, Bing UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Matlab/Simulink is an advanced environment for modeling and simulating multidomain dynamic systems. It has been widely used to model advanced Cyber-Physical Systems, e.g. in the automotive or avionics ... [more ▼]

Matlab/Simulink is an advanced environment for modeling and simulating multidomain dynamic systems. It has been widely used to model advanced Cyber-Physical Systems, e.g. in the automotive or avionics industry. To ensure the reliability of Simulink models (i.e., ensuring that they are free of faults), these models are subject to extensive testing to verify the logic and behavior of software modules developed in the models. Due to the complex structure of Simulink models, finding root causes of failures (i.e., faults) is an expensive and time-consuming task. Therefore, there is a high demand for automatic fault localization techniques that can help en- gineers to locate faults in Simulink models with less human intervention. This demand leads to the proposal and development of various approaches and techniques that are able to automatically locate faults in Simulink models. Fault localization has been an active research area that focuses on developing automated tech- niques to support software debugging. Although there have been many techniques proposed to localize faults in programs, there has not been much research on fault localization for Simulink models. In this dissertation, we investigate and develop a lightweight fault localization approach to automatically and accurately locate faults in Simulink models. To enhance the usability of our approach, we also develop a stand-alone desktop application that provides engineers with a usable interface to facilitate localization of faults in their models. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving Fault Localization for Simulink Models using Search-Based Testing and Prediction Models
Liu, Bing UL; Lucia, Lucia; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

in 24th IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering (SANER 2017) (2017)

One promising way to improve the accuracy of fault localization based on statistical debugging is to increase diversity among test cases in the underlying test suite. In many practical situations, adding ... [more ▼]

One promising way to improve the accuracy of fault localization based on statistical debugging is to increase diversity among test cases in the underlying test suite. In many practical situations, adding test cases is not a cost-free option because test oracles are developed manually or running test cases is expensive. Hence, we require to have test suites that are both diverse and small to improve debugging. In this paper, we focus on improving fault localization of Simulink models by generating test cases. We identify three test objectives that aim to increase test suite diversity. We use these objectives in a search-based algorithm to generate diversified but small test suites. To further minimize test suite sizes, we develop a prediction model to stop test generation when adding test cases is unlikely to improve fault localization. We evaluate our approach using three industrial subjects. Our results show (1) the three selected test objectives are able to significantly improve the accuracy of fault localization for small test suite sizes, and (2) our prediction model is able to maintain almost the same fault localization accuracy while reducing the average number of newly generated test cases by more than half. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulink Fault Localisation: an Iterative Statistical Debugging Approach
Liu, Bing UL; Lucia, Lucia UL; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

in Software Testing, Verification & Reliability (2016), 26(6), 431-459

Debugging Simulink models presents a significant challenge in the embedded industry. In this work, we propose SimFL, a fault localization approach for Simulink models by combining statistical debugging ... [more ▼]

Debugging Simulink models presents a significant challenge in the embedded industry. In this work, we propose SimFL, a fault localization approach for Simulink models by combining statistical debugging and dynamic model slicing. Simulink models, being visual and hierarchical, have multiple outputs at different hierarchy levels. Given a set of outputs to observe for localizing faults, we generate test execution slices, for each test case and output, of the Simulink model. In order to further improve fault localization accuracy, we propose iSimFL, an iterative fault localization algorithm. At each iteration, iSimFL increases the set of observable outputs by including outputs at lower hierarchy levels, thus increasing the test oracle cost but offsetting it with significantly more precise fault localization. We utilize a heuristic stopping criterion to avoid unnecessary test oracle extension. We evaluate our work on three industrial Simulink models from Delphi Automotive. Our results show that, on average, SimFL ranks faulty blocks in the top 8.9% in the list of suspicious blocks. Further, we show that iSimFL significantly improves this percentage down to 4.4% by requiring engineers to observe only an average of five additional outputs at lower hierarchy levels on top of high-level model outputs. [less ▲]

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See detailLocalizing Multiple Faults in Simulink Models.
Liu, Bing UL; Lucia, Lucia UL; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

in 23rd IEEE International Conference on Software Analysis, Evolution, and Reengineering (SANER 2016) (2016)

As Simulink is a widely used language in the embedded industry, there is a growing need to support debugging activities for Simulink models. In this work, we propose an approach to localize multiple ... [more ▼]

As Simulink is a widely used language in the embedded industry, there is a growing need to support debugging activities for Simulink models. In this work, we propose an approach to localize multiple faults in Simulink models. Our approach builds on statistical debugging and is iterative. At each iteration, we identify and resolve one fault and re-test models to focus on localizing faults that might have been masked before. We use decision trees to cluster together failures that satisfy similar (logical) conditions on model blocks or inputs. We then present two alternative selection criteria to choose a cluster that is more likely to yield the best fault localization results among the clusters produced by our decision trees. Engineers are expected to inspect the ranked list obtained from the selected cluster to identify faults. We evaluate our approach on 240 multi-fault models obtained from three different industrial subjects. We compare our approach with two baselines: (1) Statistical debugging without clustering, and (2) State-of-the-art clustering-based statistical debugging. Our results show that our approach significantly reduces the number of blocks that engineers need to inspect in order to localize all faults, when compared with the two baselines. Furthermore, with our approach, there is less performance degradation than in the baselines when increasing the number of faults in the underlying models. [less ▲]

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See detailSimulink Fault Localization: an Iterative Statistical Debugging Approach
Liu, Bing UL; Lucia, Lucia UL; Nejati, Shiva UL et al

Report (2015)

Debugging Simulink models presents a significant challenge in the embedded industry. In this work, we propose SimFL, a fault localization approach for Simulink models by combining statistical debugging ... [more ▼]

Debugging Simulink models presents a significant challenge in the embedded industry. In this work, we propose SimFL, a fault localization approach for Simulink models by combining statistical debugging and dynamic model slicing. Simulink models, being visual and hierarchical, have multiple outputs at different hierarchy levels. Given a set of outputs to observe for localizing faults, we generate test execution slices, for each test case and output, of the Simulink model. In order to further improve fault localization accuracy, we propose iSimFL, an iterative fault localization algorithm. At each iteration, iSimFL increases the set of observable outputs by including outputs at lower hierarchy levels, thus increasing the test oracle cost but offsetting it with significantly more precise fault localization. We utilize a heuristic stopping criterion to avoid unnecessary test oracle extension. We evaluate our work on three industrial Simulink models from Delphi Automotive. Our results show that, on average, SimFL ranks faulty blocks in the top 8.9% in the list of suspicious blocks. Further, we show that iSimFL significantly improves this percentage down to 4.4% by requiring engineers to observe only an average of five additional outputs at lower hierarchy levels on top of high-level model outputs. [less ▲]

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