Literature starter kit for MBT!
For those who already read tons of books, papers and articles on MBT this post may not be very interesting. But for the newcomers who need an easy start (i.e. knowing where to start reading), I have prepared a short list of publications on MBT.
As you may expect, the basics are mostly not published in conference papers or journal articles, because of the page limit and (mostly) advanced topics they cover. That is why we start with the books on MBT!
Although there are plenty of books on testing, there aren’t many on MBT. The most famous book was written by Mark Utting and Bruno Legeard and is titled “Practical Model-Based Testing: A Tools Approach” (2008). The book covers basic definitions, concepts, pros/cons and some exemplary approaches (mostly tool-oriented as mentioned in the subtitle). Further, it summarizes several case studies from the industrial applications of MBT. Despite the focus on state-based modelling and test generation it’s a great introduction into the world of MBT. This book is also available at Google Books.
For the German speakers among us, I advise the very recent book with the title “Basiswissen Modellbasierter Test” (2010) by Thomas Roßner, Christian Brandes, Helmut Götz and Mario Winter. This book covers all you need to know about MBT. From basic definitions, modelling concepts, test modelling scenarios through widely-known problems up to case studies and ROI estimation. The authors do not focus on a particular modelling notation, and provide examples for each concept or research problem. It’s a very understandable book for both practitioners and scientists.
A book, which is a little bit older then the mentioned ones has the title “Testing Object-Oriented Systems” (2000) from Robert V. Binder. It’s one of the most influential books about testing and to the best of my knowledge the first book direclty adressing several aspects of MBT. From this book you will learn (almost) all about software testing. Unfortunately, this wide spectrum influences its size (over 1000 pages!). Still, this book changed the way we think about testing and influenced the development of MBT methods and tools. This book is also available via Google Books.
Articles and Papers
The landscape of journal articles and conference papers about MBT is much wider than the books. Here are some recommend articles and papers on MBT…
If you want to learn about the different MBT approaches out there, for what test level (system testing, unit testing, etc.) and domain (web-based systems, embedded systems, etc.) they can be applied, then a “MUST HAVE PAPER” is “A survey on model-based testing approaches: a systematic review” by Dias Neto et al. Besides the excellent overview and comparison of several approaches, the authors discuss the main problems of MBT and future research opportunities. People searching for case studies, should use the literature references and download the concrete papers mentioned in this survey. Btw. you can also download a free technical report, which shows several details of this survey.
After reading the mentioned survey, I recommend to take a look at Improving Evidence about Software Technologies: A Look at Model-Based Testing also from Dias Neto et al. In this journal article you will see that we urgent need more empirical evidence for the huge amount of MBT approaches. The authors show how many case studies, experiments, etc. the identified in the survey mentioned earlier and discuss the empirical body of knowledge about MBT in general.
For further understanding of MBT, the knowledge about the different scenarios w.r.t. the creation of the test model (from which test artefacts are generated) is needed. Another “MUST HAVE” is the paper called “Methodological Issued in Model-Based Testing” from Alexander Pretschner and Jan Philipps. From this publication you will learn that there exist different scenarios how a test model can be created (manual modelling, reverse engineering from code, etc.). Those scenarios have several pros and cons. The authors discuss all scenarios on a methodological level.
Based on the paper from Pretschner and Philipps, another paper by Güldali, Mlynarski and Sancar called “Effort Comparison of Model-Based Testing Scenarios” compares high-level MBT scenarios in terms of effort needed for different testing activities and organizational aspects. In addition to the paper mentioned earlier, the authors extended the scenarios of Pretschner and Philipps with two new ones.
That’s all I can recommend for an easy start with this fascinating technique. I’m aware that there are far more publications around MBT, but this blog post is not supposed to give an overview. It’s more to know where to start reading. I’m sure, that by reading the books, papers and articles mentioned here, you will find plenty of references interesting for your context. If you have a specific topic or problem related to MBT and search for advise, then simply write an e-mail to us.