Pingyu Zhang presented at the Internal Symposium of Software Testing and Analysis 2012 the second fundamental piece of work in this area in a paper entitled “Compositional Load Test Generation for Software Pipelines”. The abstract of the paper follows:
Load tests validate whether a system’s performance is acceptable under extreme conditions. Traditional load testing approaches are black-box, inducing load by increasing the size or rate of the input. Symbolic execution based load testing techniques complement traditional approaches by enabling the selection of precise input values. However, as the programs under analysis or their required inputs increase in size, the analyses required by these techniques either fail to scale up or sacrifice test effectiveness. We propose a new approach that addresses this limitation by performing load test generation compositionally. It uses existing symbolic execution based techniques to analyze the performance of each system component in isolation, summarizes the results of those analyses, and then performs an analysis across those summaries to generate load tests for the whole system. In its current form, the approach can be applied to any system that is structured in the form of a software pipeline. A study of the approach revealed that it can generate effective load tests for Unix and XML pipelines while outperforming state-of-the-art techniques.