School of Computing involved in £2.7 million computing consortium

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The European Commission has awarded £2.7million (€3.4million) to a computing consortium that includes the School of Computing’s Professor Simon Thompson.

The award is for research that will develop innovative software testing techniques that build on the success of ProTest (2008-2011), an EU project that delivered new methods and tools to support property-based development of systems.

Known as PROWESS (an acronym for ‘PROperty based testing of WEb ServiceS’), this latest project involves the universities of Kent, Sheffield and A Coruña, Chalmers University in Gothenburg and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Industrial participants include Erlang Solutions Ltd, Quviq AB, Interoud and SP, the Technical Research Institute of Sweden.

The University of Kent will receive £354k to fund its part of the research for three years, starting on 1 October 2012. This will include funding for a full-time Research Associate.

Like ProTest, PROWESS will develop property-based testing, in which individual test cases are replaced by logical properties and models. The software testing advances made by ProTest are now being used by Volvo to test software in its cars. PROWESS will extend this work to test web-based systems, which will involve testing many competing implementations of software specifications that are constantly evolving. It will also test these systems for robustness and scalability.

Professor Simon Thompson said:

We are pleased to receive this funding as it will enable us to continue the very fruitful European-wide collaboration that began with the ProTest project. We hope to be able to raise the standards of software both in Europe and beyond through radical improvements to software testing practice.

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