Testing Web Applications by Modeling with FSMs

Software Systems and Modeling, 4(3):326-345, July 2005

Anneliese Andrews, Jeff Offutt and Roger Alexander


Researchers and practitioners are still trying to find effective ways to model and test Web applications. This paper proposes a system-level testing technique that combines test generation based on finite state machines with constraints. We use a hierarchical approach to model potentially large Web applications. The approach builds hierarchies of Finite State Machines (FSMs) that model subsystems of the Web applications, and then generates test requirements as subsequences of states in the FSMs. These subsequences are then combined and refined to form complete executable tests. The constraints are used to select a reduced set of inputs with the goal of reducing the state space explosion otherwise inherent in using FSMs. The paper illustrates the technique with a running example of a Web-based course student information system and introduces a prototype implementation to support the technique.

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