VectorCAST/Coupling
Data and Control Coupling Verification

Satisfy DO-178C mandatory requirement for data and control couples analysis

VectorCAST/Coupling provides automated analysis and instrumentation for data coupling and control coupling verification for C and C++ source files and is used in conjunction with an existing VectorCAST/QA project or VectorCAST Cover environment. Coupling verification is mandatory for safety-critical avionics software development according to both RTCA DO-178B and DO-178C. The tools support the Coupling requirements of DO-178B/C by using a combination of static analysis to identify the couples in a code base and run-time verification of the couples during application execution. Both the static analysis and run-time verification operate on software “components”. A component is a user-defined collection of one or more source files.

Advantages

  • Automated coupling verification for C and C++ Source Files
  • Uses existing VectorCAST Cover environments
  • Verify DO-178C Requirements
  • Report generation
  • Saves significant time, effort and accuracy over manual analysis

How it Works

The intent of Coupling Analysis is to prove that the control and data flow between architectural components in the implementation match what was intended by the design, and to prove that these flows have been tested. DO-178B requires applicants to identify couples in the design, and to verify that those couples, and only those couples, exist in the implementation. DO-178C additionally requires applicants to verify that the couples have been exercised during functional requirements testing. VectorCAST’s Component Report and Coupling Coverage Report provide this proof.

DO-178C defines two types of couples, Control Couples and Data Couples. The specification defines them as:

Control Coupling – The manner or degree by which one software component influences the execution of another software component (DO-178C ANNEX B, Glossary).

Data Coupling – The dependence of a software component on data not exclusively under the control of that software component (DO-178C ANNEX B, Glossary).

DO-178B only required you to confirm the data and control coupling. DO-178C changed that to confirm that the requirements-based testing has exercised the data and control coupling. If you have to comply with DO-178C (A, B or C), then objective 8 applies. For DO-178B, you may have confirmed the data and control coupling manually or with static analysis. Now you must:

  • Confirm the data and control coupling meets the requirements and intended design
  • Show the coverage analysis for the data and control coupling after running the requirements-based tests
  • Static Analysis alone is insufficient - you must also show the dynamic coverage analysis Using VectorCAST/Coupling will save you time.

Manual analysis is hard and labor intensive. Static Analysis alone is insufficient because you must also show the dynamic coverage analysis. Using VectorCAST/Coupling is easier and saves time.

Coupling Coverage Reports

VectorCAST’s set of Coupling Reports provide proof that the control and data flow between architectural components in the implementation match what was intended by the design and prove that these flows have been tested. VectorCAST/Coupling provides the following reports, which are discussed in detail below:

  • Component Report - lists the global data objects and functions for each component.

  • Coupling Coverage Report - shows the static analysis and runtime analysis. This report is a high-level overview of the Coupling coverage in the application.

VectorCAST/Coupling Coverage Report
  • Coupling Access Order Full Report - shows the access order by test result for all couples. This verifies that the architecture was correctly followed for all of the tests.
VectorCAST/Coupling Access Order Full Report
  • Coupling Access Order Error Report - shows the access order by test result only for couples with errors. This report helps the user to efficiently track down any access errors without having to parse through all of the test results.
VectorCAST/Coupling Access Order Error Report

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Services

VectorCAST Services

The VectorCAST Services group helps your organization implement industry focused, best practice-based methodologies to improve software quality and productivity. What sets the VectorCAST Services group apart from other professional services groups is the expertise in complex testing environments and the focus on mentoring clients for self-sufficiency while helping them establish repeatable software development and testing processes.

Training

VectorCAST Workshops

Our workshops offer you many opportunities to expand or deepen your knowledge about VectorCAST.

Gain a basic understanding of Unit Testing and Code Coverage concepts and how the VectorCAST test automation platform can be used to implement those concepts.

 

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