[erlang-questions] Presentation: How do you test large systems written in Erlang? London 28/1 @ 19.00

Francesco Cesarini <>
Fri Jan 18 10:58:23 CET 2008


Hi Erlang Mailing Listers,

please note that this is the last public talk we will be posting to the 
erlang-questions list list. If interested in receiving notifications of 
future talks, please subscribe to the London Erlang User Group by 
sending a blank email to  or 
visit http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/erlang-london/

Feel free to pass this on to anyone you believe might be interested.

The second meet up of the Erlang User Group will be on Monday 28/1 @ 
19.00 in Erlang Training and Consulting's offices in London. The meet up 
will feature a presentation from Thomas Arts, of Quviq AB and the IT 
University of Gothenburg. He will talk about testing large Erlang based 
systems, including formal methods and property based testing.

The presentation will be followed by Pizza and drinks. Those still 
standing at 8pm can then make their way to a quiet pub down the road and 
continue chatting and networking. This is a free event sponsored by 
Erlang Training and Consulting and Skills Matter.

As we need to let security have your names and need in advance, ensure 
we have a room big enough (There were 60 of us last meeting!), and most 
important, know how much Pizza to order, you have to register by sending 
an email to alison _at_ erlang-consulting.com The event is free and open 
to every one, as long as you have registered.

Abstract:  How do you test large systems written in Erlang?

With the growth of software complexity we need new technology to ensure  
quality of the final product. Testing has so far been one of the most  
used techniques to check the quality of the end product. Since the 
amount of software configurations is huge for each product, testing all 
these configurations is impractical. Mathematical techniques under the 
name of formal methods, address this by tools as Model Checkers and 
Theorem Provers. Several of these techniques have been developed for 
Erlang as well as for many other languages.
In practice, they are difficult to use and expensive to deploy.

Property Based Testing joins the benefits of the formal verification 
techniques with the ease of testing. Instead of writing test cases, one
copies the idea of formal methods to write a property of the software, 
e.g., "no matter how many ATMs are connected to our bank and no matter 
in which order the ATMs send their messages, money may not dissapear 
from the system".  Instead of a mathematical prove that this holds, a 
large amount of test cases is automatically generated from this property 
and all these tests are checked against the system.

Property Based Testing is used small scale today at companies like 
Ericsson, Erlang Training and Consulting and a few others. The goal of 
the ProTest project is to introduce more tools and techniques that 
enable widened use of Property Based Testing. For example by combining 
it with re-factoring of test cases and properties, by connecting it to 
trace analysis and audit logs, and by integrating it with model checking 
techniques.

This will result in a very powerful method supported by a good set of 
integrated tools that make Erlang programmers even more productive.


Bio: Thomas Arts

Dr Thomas Arts is Associate professor at the IT University of Göteborg 
in the area of Software Engineering and Management. Thomas is also 
co-founder and CTO of Quviq, a small company that produced Quick Check, 
a testing tool for Erlang. He holds a PhD in computer science and has 
after his PhD been employed at the Ericsson Computer Science Lab (Where 
they invented Erlang) where he worked on program verification and the 
development of the Erlang programming language.

He has worked in the broad spectrum theoretical computer science, formal 
methods and industrial case-study research, mainly applying all kind of 
techniques to systems written in Erlang. He has more than 30 
publications in journals and refereed conferences/workshops. He has 
successfully introduced some new technologies in industry. The latest 
technology, QuickCheck, is a tool for property based testing and aims to 
support test driven development.



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