Towards Practical Passive Testing

K.M. Brzezinski (Poland)


Protocols, algorithms, performance evaluation, testing.


We deal with passive testing of an implementation of a communication protocol, which consists in observing the message exchange in real channels, comparing its patterns to a predetermined reference, and issuing a verdict, without actively stimulating the implementation. The key issues in passive testing depend upon the field of its application. We discuss this technique in the context of telecommunications systems (for which it had been originally conceived), where a protocol is defined for signalling between network nodes or for user communication. Passive testing is still regarded as immature and ill-defined, due to its unclear place in the taxonomy of measurement techniques and a limited body of algorithms and their implementations. The aim of this paper is to contribute to both of these areas. We briefly discuss testing and monitoring, in order to clarify the essence of passive testing. We present the design and original algorithms of a passive testing tool, the Oracle. We also describe the universal protocol monitor MONDIS, programmed in our JOSP-2 syntax descriptionlanguageand intended to serve as a capturing and decoding interface of a passive tester.

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