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Validating context-aware applications

Zhimin Wang, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The incorporation of context-awareness into applications allows them to leverage contextual information and provide additional services while maintaining an acceptable quality of service. These added capabilities, however, introduce unique challenges that software engineers have to consider during validation, such as an orthogonal input space, intrinsically noisy data, continuous and indirect input feeding, and continuous adaptations.^ Validation of such applications, however, has not received much attention and the techniques available are still at an early development stage. More specifically, we have identified that existing techniques neglect (1) context changes that impact asynchronous context handlers; (2) the intrinsic adaptation mechanisms; and (3) the implicit reliance on variable context values.^ This dissertation addresses these limitations. Our goal is to assist software engineers through specialized validation techniques that consider the fundamental aspects of context-aware applications. We have developed new validation techniques targeting context-aware applications, implemented them, and assessed them through case studies.^ Through this work, we provide the following benefits for researchers and practitioners. We identify the essential nature of context-aware applications and specific limitations of existing techniques, and provide specialized validation techniques that consider several intrinsic factors ignored by existing techniques. We implement our techniques and develop a toolkit that can support the generation of tests, the fault detection in the adaptation mechanisms, and the ranking of statements sensitive to context changes.^

Subject Area

Computer Science

Recommended Citation

Wang, Zhimin, "Validating context-aware applications" (2008). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3315261.