Validation of software development and analysis tools using TraCIMShort Name: ValTraC, Project Number: 15SIP06
Developing a computer system and guidelines to enable developers to validate the performance of measurement software online
Many areas of metrology rely on software and programming tools that implement mathematical calculations. These software products must be validated to ensure that they perform as intended.
A common validation approach uses reference data and reference results, or ‘reference pairs.’ The software is applied to multiple reference data sets and each test outcome is compared with its corresponding reference result. The results of these comparisons can then be combined to provide the overall assessment of the software. This kind of validation offers several benefits, including a reduction in the risks and costs of bringing faulty software to market and increased consumer confidence.
However, problems can arise in the validation process due to missing or ambiguous language in specifications.
The EMRP project TraCIM developed a framework for verifying software that uses mathematical calculations for metrology, comprising three elements: specifications of computational aims, reference pairs, and an ICT infrastructure (the ‘TraCIM system’).
While TraCIM focused on metrology software, with particular emphasis on coordinate measuring machines, the framework had potential applicability to all mathematical software using reference pairs. However, its suitability for extension to other areas of metrology required verification.
Within this project, work was undertaken to demonstrate the suitability of the TraCIM verification approach to general mathematical software. The project’s consortium worked with National Instruments to demonstrate the application of the TraCIM approach through verification of its products, including the widely used LabVIEW® tool. Both integrated and standalone TraCIM clients were examined.
The TraCIM approach was used to verify user-built LabVIEW® code (subVIs), including for coordinate measuring machines, length metrology, and chemistry, electricity, and magnetism metrology.
The TraCIM system and guidelines on its use are available on the project website. This new software has reduced in the amount of human interaction and time required for validations – with hundreds of reference data sets processed in a few seconds.
The new facility will give programmers and software developers greater confidence in their products and help industries with complex data and software manipulation requirements.
Software Quality Management XXV: Achieving Software Quality in Development and in Use