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Community Champion

NIST Tool Enables More Comprehensive Tests on High-Risk Software

With the research toolkit called Automated Combinatorial Testing for Software, or ACTS, software companies can make sure that there are no simultaneous input combinations that might inadvertently cause a dangerous error. As a rough parallel, think of a keyboard shortcut, such as pressing CTRL-ALT-DELETE to reset a system intentionally. The risk with safety-critical software is that combinations that create unintentional consequences might exist.

 

NIST’s ACTS toolkit now includes an updated version of Combinatorial Coverage Measurement (CCM), a tool that should help improve safety as well as reduce software costs. The software industry often spends seven to 20 times as much money rendering safety-critical software reliable as it does on more conventional code.

The peer-reviewed findings of the research team appear in two papers the team will present on April 23 at the 2019 IEEE International Conference on Software Testing, Verification and Validation in Xi’an, China. The research includes collaborators from the University of Texas at Arlington, Adobe Systems Inc. and Austria’s SBA Research.