ITEA2 ATAC project addresses the problem of automated testing of complex and highly configurable software-intensive systems. The project started 1 of October 2011 and ends 31 of September 2014.
The European industry has a leading role in the engineering of high-quality software-intensive technical systems. To be competitive, companies develop software-intensive systems with multiple fields of application. Many software-intensive systems can be configured for different operation environments such as products in the telecommunication, railway and production domain. This flexibility of use is facilitated by configuration parameters. A complex software-intensive system such as an engine control system has several hundreds or even several thousands of configuration parameters.
The increasing configuration spaces of software-intensive systems lead to new challenges for quality assurance. Verification and testing become more complex, more time-consuming and more expensive. The risk that software defects remain undetected and cause severe system failures increases. To mitigate this risk, quality assurance needs to be performed earlier, more frequently, and in a more automated fashion than in traditional development processes. Hence, to keep and further extend its excellent reputation, European industry requires a combination of powerful processes, methods and tools for the quality assurance of complex software-intensive systems.
ATAC, a consortium of 15 partners from industry and research based in 4 countries, aims at developing, enhancing, and deploying high performance methods and tools for quality assurance of large and distributed software-intensive systems. It considers such challenges as variable and complex configurations, systems used in large varieties of environments, and modularity of product development. ATAC will provide partners and European industry with leading edge technologies for the development of high quality software-intensive complex systems at reduced expenditures of time and money. The expected outcomes of ATAC have a strong economic relevance: according to a recent study, the worldwide expenses for testing (including testing software, hardware and services) amount to 79 billion Euros in 2010 and will exceed 100 billion Euros in 2014 (source: Pierre Audrin Consultants).
ATAC is fully industry-focused and case study-driven: The ATAC partners will jointly define a set of industrial case studies settled in different application domains to drive the method and tool development activities in ATAC. The method providers in ATAC will develop solutions for the automated testing of complex, highly configurable software-intensive systems. The tool providers in ATAC will integrate these solutions into tool chains for automated testing. The ATAC case studies will continuously evaluate the methods and tools and provide feedback to the method and tool developers in order to ensure the applicability and effectiveness of the solutions in a complex, industrial environment.
The results, impact, and benefit of using the ATAC technologies will be assessed during the project by setting up a systematic measurement program. The industrial measurement data will be used to package the experiences in order to support fast exploitation of the ATAC technologies and tools.
To ensure a high impact on research and industry, the results of ATAC will be packaged into a set of expressive demonstrators. These demonstrators will be used, for instance, for supporting the exploitation and dissemination activities at international symposia and industry exhibitions.