Passive Testing for Reverse Engineering: Specification Recovery

K.M. Brzezinski, A. Gumieniak, and P. Jankowski (Poland)


Protocol, specification, reverse-engineering, testing


In a system development trajectory (or a life-cycle model)fostered by the "traditional telecommunications" community,it is accepted that implementations are derived from specifications that are assumed correct. These (formal) specifications can then serve as a reference for designing further realizations and for checking their correctness. In a fast development trajectory, characteristic of "new telecommunications",specifications are often fragmentary, informal, or never produced (or disclosed). We propose a reverse-engineering method for specification recovery that is based on passive testing of an implementation that is assumed correct. We illustrate the application of the method with a case study - recovery of the specification of the IAX2 protocol for VoIP systems. It is argued that the method can be instrumental in bridging the gap between the approaches and methods used by both research communities.

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