Towards a mutation analysis of IoT protocols

Benjamin Aziz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Context: Mutation testing and analysis is concerned with the introduction of single faults (or errors) into a system’s design, specification, implementa- tion or interface and then testing or analysing the effects caused by those faults or errors on the system’s properties and behaviour. Such faulty enti- ties are called mutants.

Objective: This short paper sketches the idea that mutations can be used to identify whether protocol implementations may deviate from the standards defining those protocols.

Method: We apply formal analysis techniques to analyse the harmful effects of mutations on IoT protocol specifications, most importantly, e.g. whether those mutations will violate the IoT protocol standard.

Results: We discovered in our initial investigation one interesting case where a mutant protocol specification may lead to implementations that drop every message intended for publication to applications without breaking the standard of quality of message delivery in the protocol standard.

Conclusion: We believe as a result, that there is some additional investigation needed in this direction that could be benefi- cial in implementing future more reliable protocols and also that the current standards need to be revised to take care of such scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-184
Number of pages2
JournalInformation and Software Technology
Early online date1 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • IoT protocols
  • mutation analysis
  • formal analysis
  • process algebra


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