Methodology for Testing RFID Applications

Hubner, Andreas
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De Montfort University
Peer reviewed
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a promising technology for process automation and beyond that capable of identifying objects without the need for a line-of-sight. However, the trend towards automatic identification of objects also increases the demand for high quality RFID applications. Therefore, research on testing RFID systems and methodical approaches for testing are needed. This thesis presents a novel methodology for the system level test of RFID applications. The approach called ITERA, allows for the automatic generation of tests, defines a semantic model of the RFID system and provides a test environment for RFID applications. The method introduced can be used to gradually transform use cases into a semi-formal test specification. Test cases are then systematically generated, in order to execute them in the test environment. It applies the principle of model based testing from a black-box perspective in combination with a virtual environment for automatic test execution. The presence of RFID tags in an area, monitored by an RFID reader, can be modelled by time-based sets using set-theory and discrete events. Furthermore, the proposed description and semantics can be used to specify RFID systems and their applications, which might also be used for other purposes than testing. The approach uses the Unified Modelling Language to model the characteristics of the system under test. Based on the ITERA meta model test execution paths are extracted directly from activity diagrams and RFID specific test cases are generated. The approach introduced in this thesis allows to reduce the efforts for RFID application testing by systematically generating test cases and the automatic test execution. In combination with meta model and by considering additional parameters, like unreliability factors, it not only satisfies functional testing aspects, but also increases the confidence in the robustness of the tested application. Mixed with the instantly available virtual readers, it has the potential to speed up the development process and decrease the costs - even during the early development phases. ITERA can be used for highly automated testing, reproducible tests and because of the instantly available readers, even before the real environment is deployed. Furthermore, the total control of the RFID environment enables to test applications which might be difficult to test manually. This thesis will explain the motivation and objectives of this new RFID application test methodology. Based on a RFID system analysis it proposes a practical solution on the identified issues. Further, it gives a literature review on testing fundamentals, model based test case generation, the typical components of a RFID system and RFID standards used in industry.
Research Institute