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Web Service Testing Models Stand Test of Time

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Published on Thursday, 09 November 2017

Dr. Shiva Nejati, Research Scientist at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust, has been awarded the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies Conference’s (CASCON) 10 Year Most Influential Paper award.

The paper, ‘Runtime Monitoring of Web Service Conversations’, was presented at CASCON 2007. It marked one of the first forays into the use of standard software modeling language UML for the testing of web services (a standardised way of integrating Web-based applications). It has stood the test of time and been selected as the most influential paper among all the papers accepted and presented 10 years ago at CASCON 2007. The award was presented on 7 November.

The paper, of which Nejati was one of six co-authors, describes how system requirements – the criteria that need to be satisfied in order for software to function securely and reliably – can be expressed using abstract and easy to understand models. These models are then used to automate the testing of web services in an efficient and effective way.

The work served as a stepping-stone for much further research into runtime monitoring and recovery of web services, as well as the development of industry-strength languages and patterns for business process specification. It was performed as part of a research collaboration between University of Toronto and IBM Canada Software Laboratory CAS Research.

Nejati's collaborators receive the award on 7 November, Ontario, Canada

Looking back on the research, Nejati feels that its enduring value stems from the way it succeeded in bridging academia and industry. “It’s a great example of how this approach can lead to innovative and high-quality research with tangible impact on practice. I was a PhD student at the time, and it was a great privilege and inspiration for me to participate in the research.”

Nejati joined SnT’s Software Verification and Validation Research Group in 2012, and she remains focused on conducting research in close collaboration with industry partners. Her interests are in software engineering, focusing on model-based development, software testing, analysis of cyber physical systems, search-based software engineering and formal and empirical software engineering methods. 

CASCON is an annual computer science conference taking place in Ontario, Canada, organized by IBM.