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TESTING AND NETWORK MANAGEMENT USING MESSAGE SEQUENCE CHARTS

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009360D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Aug-20
Document File: 6 page(s) / 224K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Paul Baker: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

During the development of communication sys- tems 50-60% of the time is spent testing. Also, based upon practical experience many more hours are spent on finding faults during the system mainte- nance phase. This paper describes a number of methods for capturing information in the form of Message Sequence Charts (MSCs) which can be used during the testing of concurrent systems, such as communication systems. We then describe mech- anisms for capturing this information in an efficient manner enabling the practical use of these methods within real-time systems.

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MOTOROLA @ Technical Developmenrs

TESTING AND NETWORK MANAGEMENT

USING MESSAGE SEQUENCE CHARTS

by Paul Baker and Francis Tam

INTRODUCTION

  During the development of communication sys- tems 50-60% of the time is spent testing. Also, based upon practical experience many more hours are spent on finding faults during the system mainte- nance phase. This paper describes a number of methods for capturing information in the form of Message Sequence Charts (MSCs) which can be used during the testing of concurrent systems, such as communication systems. We then describe mech- anisms for capturing this information in an efficient manner enabling the practical use of these methods within real-time systems.

PROBLEM(S) TO BE SOLVED

  As illustrated in Figure 1 methods exist today which allow the system traces' to be captured and stored as a textual MSC (PR format), which can be subsequently displayed using a MSC viewer. However, such facilities are limited in that they:

l are very inefficient. Capturing information required to generate MSCs imposes a tune and memory penalty for real-time systems.

PROPOSED SOLUTlON;TO THE PROBLEM(S)

  In this paper we propose three new concepts which lead to solving the' problem described in the previous section.

EFFICIENT AND FLEXlhLE DATA COLLECTION

  Figure 2 illustrates! a configuration that is required by any system whose application wishes to generate MSC traces efftciendy. To obtain effrcien- cy gains, the behavioral !data of an application is stored in its raw form (i.e. data is in the form used by the native application) as opposed to a form required by an MSC. The format of raw data is out- side the scope of this paper.

  The management application agent provides an interface for the managed node with the managing system. System management signals are introduced so the 'when' and 'how' of MSC traces am generat- ed can be specified. Thisovercomes the limitations of data collection only at system start-up and that of behavioral data selection found within other existing methods.

  The system management signals in this inven- tion are:

START-activates MSC tracing STOP-deactivates MSC tracing HlSTOR-specifies the number of MSC events to be stored
SELECTION-activates the filtering mechanism INSTANCES-specifies the instances to be traced.

l can only generate MSCs for applications/systems developed using automatic code generation.

l can only generate MSCs traces from system start- up and not during system execution.

l cannot selectively filter the behavioral information shown on a MSC.

l can only generate MSCs for a single system com- ponent.

1 traces are a sequences of events observed about a systems behavior

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m MOTOROLA Technical Developments

These signals enable either the main application
(a) or MSC trace functions (b) to dynamically and selectively generate raw MSC data.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

  Figure 3 illustrates...