In our modern, information society telecommunication plays a bigger role in our everyday lives, than any other industry. We can’t imagine living anymore without the Internet, or a cell phone.
All this aforementioned discoveries have something common in them: they built upon telecommunication protocols. As newer and newer technologies arise, newer and newer protocols are being created. But these protocols are not just born overnight. Before they can be used in an everyday fashion, they must be thoroughly tested. Now, that the fourth generation mobile networks are on the brink of configuration, the field of protocol testing became more important than ever.
In my thesis I tackled the subject of protocol testing, and undertook the task to develop a complete, open-source software suite. This demonstrational package provides facilities to test telecommunication protocols in their real environment. Because of the grandiose volume of the project, I didn’t start my work from scratch. Instead, I based my study on existing –but incomplete- tools, making them better, or replacing them during the process.
My first step was the recognition of the basics of protocol testing. I studied the long standing methods of the subject, including the TTCN-3 language and standard. The next step of achieving my goals was to find existing tools and technologies, and thoroughly test and evaluate them.
The result of the detailed research phase was the final plan of my package, which consists of two parts. The first part of the plan is an architectural scheme of a translator. The translator’s job is to translate an abstract testcase description –written in TTCN-3 language- into an executable program – in C++ language-. The second part of the plan is about upgrading the existing runtime environment with new options. After the plan was developed, my focus was on implementing the outlined schemes.
I concluded my thesis summarizing the results of the project. The end product could be a fine base for developing an open-source, general protocol testing tool. I included the list of the required upgrades, which are essential to make such a tool. Besides that, I also outline the basics of an alternative approach, which is able to improve the efficiency of protocol testing in the future.