University of Minnesota
Software Engineering Center
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Mats Heimdahl

Photo of Mats Heimdahl
Computer Science and Engineering Department Head
Professor
Phone Number: 
612-625-2068
Office Location: 
Kenneth H Keller Hall room 6-201
Education: 

M.S. Computer Science and Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, 1988.

Ph.D. Computer Science, University of California at Irvine, 1994.

Biography: 

Professor Mats Heimdahl specializes in software engineering and safety critical systems. He is the director of the University of Minnesota Software Engineering Center (UMSEC).

Heimdahl is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's CAREER award, a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and the McKnight Presidential Fellow award at the University of Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota Award for Outstanding Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education.

Research: 

Software is increasingly involved in our lives; software controls physical systems ranging from microwave ovens and watches to nuclear power plants, aircraft, and cars. Computer-related failures can, in many of these applications, have catastrophic effects.

My research group, the Critical Systems Research Group (CriSys), is conducting research in software engineering and is investigating methods and tools to help us develop software with predictable behavior free from defects.

Research in this area spans all aspects of system development ranging from concept formation and requirements specification, through design and implementation, to testing and maintenance. In particular, we are currently investigating model-based software development for critical systems.

Specifically, we are focusing on how to use various static verification techniques to assure that software requirements models possess desirable properties, how to correctly generate production code from software requirements models, how to validate models, and how to effectively use the models in the testing process.

Interests: 

Software engineering and safety critical systems.

Recent Publications

On the Danger of Coverage Directed Test Case Generation

In the avionics domain, the use of structural coverage criteria is legally required in determining test suite adequacy. With the success of automated test generation tools, it is tempting to use these criteria as the basis for test generation. To more firmly establish the eectiveness of such approaches, we have generated and evaluated test suites to satisfy two coverage criteria using counterexample-based test generation and a random generation approach, contrasted against purely random test suites of equal size.

Better Testing Through Oracle Selection

In software testing, the test oracle determines if the application under test has performed an execution correctly. In current testing practice and research, significant effort and thought is placed on selecting test inputs, with the selection of test oracles largely neglected. Here, we argue that improvements to the testing process can be made by considering the problem of oracle selection. In particular, we argue that selecting the test oracle and test inputs together to complement one another may yield improvements testing effectiveness.

Programs, Tests, and Oracles: The Foundations of Testing Revisited.

In previous decades, researchers have explored the formal foundations of program testing. By exploring the foundations of testing largely separate from any specific method of testing, these researchers provided a general discussion of the testing process, including the goals, the underlying problems, and the limitations of testing. Unfortunately, a common, rigorous foundation has not been widely adopted in empirical software testing research, making it difficult to generalize and compare empirical research.

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