A data flow-based structural testing technique for FBD programs

Eunkyoung Jee, Junbeom Yoo, Sungdeok Cha, Doohwan Bae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


With increased use of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in implementing critical systems, quality assurance became an important issue. Regulation requires structural testing be performed for safety-critical systems by identifying coverage criteria to be satisfied and accomplishment measured. Classical coverage criteria, based on control flow graphs, are inadequate when applied to a data flow language function block diagram (FBD) which is a PLC programming language widely used in industry. We propose three structural coverage criteria for FBD programs, analyze relationship among them, and demonstrate their effectiveness using a real-world reactor protection system. Using test cases that had been manually prepared by FBD testing professionals, our technique found many aspects of the FBD logic that were not tested sufficiently. Domain experts, having found the approach highly intuitive, found the technique effective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1139
Number of pages9
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jul


  • Function block diagram
  • Programmable logic controller
  • Software testing
  • Structural testing
  • Test coverage criteria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications


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