Model-Based Specification and Testing for Rapid Software Transition

Period of Performance: 08/11/2003 - 02/11/2004

$66.2K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Cognitive Concepts
458 E Jackson
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) faces a problem that's common to all complex military systems and to many commercial applications as well. The time and effort it takes to integrate software functionality into a system and verify correct operation can be overwhelming and, in some cases, cost prohibitive. Thus, projects seek a process or method to effectively, efficiently and rapidly implement and transition software into a complex system. Cognitive Concepts is fully aware of this issue and proposes a methodology that has significant potential to increase both the effectiveness and efficiency of the system integration and test processes: model-based specification and test (MST). Cognitive Concepts has a clear vision of the road ahead for MDA with regard to MST. With this proposed research program MDA can incorporate the methodology into systems software integration and test processes in a relatively short time frame. The approach will save the organization significant time and money in the long run while ensuring higher reliability in the operational National Missile Defense. At the conclusion of Phase II the MDA will have the ability to construct behavioral models of any new software subsystem quickly. They will have the ability to construct a model-based specification of the complete software system for the National Missile Defense. Portions of these models will already be completed. Any model that's constructed will live for as long as the NMD does. Only minor modifications to the models will ever be required to sustain accurate behavioral representation. With these models, all black box software subsystem and system test cases will be free; they will be auto-generated from the models. With a test environment automation capability, the integration and test process for a new or modified software subsystem will be streamlined and comprehensive every time that process is invoked for the NMD. The tools to support these capabilities will be nearing maturity. This proposal offers an approach that Cognitive Concepts believes has realistic and substantial potential to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Missile Defense Agency system software integration and test processes. The applicability of model-based specification and test, however, goes well beyond the systems under development at the MDA. It has wide ranging potential to improve the processes and products of organizations producing large scale software systems, both in the public and private sectors. In fact, the methodology could be applied to just about any software intensive application where requirements are documented. The commercialization strategy, though, focuses on the application areas most likely to adopt this approach within the next decade: military and space.