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NBAP message construction using QuickCheck

Andreas Granberg and Daniel Jernberg

Master Thesis Project, Kista, 2006, 2007

NBAP message construction using QuickCheck Andreas Granberg and Daniel Jernberg Master Thesis Project, Kista, 2006, 2007

NBAP message construction using QuickCheck

Andreas Granberg and Daniel Jernberg

LITH-IDA

QuickCheck Andreas Granberg and Daniel Jernberg LITH-IDA 2007-06-18 This thesis presents the work done by the

2007-06-18

This thesis presents the work done by the two undergraduate students Daniel Jernberg and Andreas Granberg at Ericsson Traffic and Feature SW. The thesis project was to integrate Quick- Check as an automated tool for software verifica- tion into the existing test framework. This thesis presents the purpose, methods, choices made and the results of this work.

Master Thesis Project,

Supervised by Graham Crowe.

Examined by Mariam Kamkar

Kista, 2006, 2007

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

Traffic and Feature SW is a department based in Kista. At this department the main processor software, or MPSW in short, in Ericssons Radio Base Stations is tested prior to integration of new releases. Traffic and Feature SW, also called MPSW in this thesis, works closely with another department of Ericsson called RBS System I&V which tests the same software but for complete RBS nodes. MPSW uses black- and greybox scripted testing in regression suites that are executed on a daily basis. These regression suites are separated into different subsets of functionality that maps to the capabilities of the Radio Base Station software. The authors of this thesis has performed an imple- mentation of automated test cases for a subset of the Radio Base Station software using an automated software tool called QuickCheck. These test cases were successfully inte- grated into the test framework and were able to find several issues with the main proc- essor software and its subsystems in the Radio Base Station. The commissioner of this thesis have plans to further integrate the QuickCheck tool into the test framework, pos- sibly automating test cases for several subsets of the Radio Base Station software. The authors have therefore analysed and put forth metrics that compares the testing of the Radio Base Station software using QuickCheck with the conventional regression test cases. These metrics covers areas such as the cost related to and the inherent capabili- ties of QuickCheck. The evaluation of these metrics was performed by the authors to give the commissioner decisive information. These evaluations showed that Quick- Check was able to generate complex message stuctures in complex sequences. Quick- Check was also able to shrink both the content of these messages and the length of the sequences of messages to be able to provide a minimal counterexample when a fault was discovered. The only metric that QuickCheck failed to support was to inherit func- tionality to support the handling of statistics from executions.

Sammanfattning

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SAMMANFATTNING

Traffic and Feature SW är en avdelning av Ericsson som är baserad i Kista. På denna avdelning testas mjukvaran på huvudprocessorn och dess subsystem i Ericssons radio- basstationer innan nya releaser av mjukvaror för dessa. Avdelningens arbete koordine- ras med en annan avdelning i Kista som kallas RBS System I&V som jobbar med liknande testning men mot riktiga radiobasstationer. Traffic and Feature SW, även kal- lad MPSW i denna rapport, jobbar med regressionstestning i en blandning av svartlå- demiljö och grålådemiljö. Dessa regressionssviter körs varje natt mot ny mjukvara i radiobasstationerna från vilka resultat analyseras av utvecklarna av testfallen dagen efter. Dessa regressionssviter är indelade i mindre sviter baserat på vilken delmängd av funktionaliteten i radiobasstationsmjukvaran som testas. Författarna av denna exa- mensarbetersrapport har under detta arbete genomfört en implementation av automa- tiserade testfall för en delmängd av funktionaliteten i radiobasstationen genom att använda ett nytt verktyg för automatiserad testning vid namn QuickCheck. Dessa test- fall integrerades in i testramverket på ett önskvärt sätt och lyckades hitta flertalet intressanta frågetecken med mjukvaran i huvudprocessorn och dess delsystem i radio- basstationerna. Eftersom uppdragsgivaren har fortsatta planer på att använda Quick- Check som testverktyg i sitt testramverk i större utsträckning har författarna även analyserat och postulerat metriker för att ge möjlighet att jämföra testfall av denna typ med testfall av den konventionella regressionstestningstypen. Dessa metriker täcker områden såsom kostnader och duglighet hos testverktyget. En utvärdering av dessa metriker genomfördes också av författarna för att ge uppdragsgivaren beslutsstöd- jande information om utfallet av dessa metriker för QuickCheck. Dessa evalueringar visade att QuickCheck ger möjligheten att generera komplexa meddelandestrukturer såväl som komplexa sekvenser av sådana meddelanden. QuickCheck har också funk- tionalitet för att krympa sådana meddelanden och sekvenser till minimala motexempel när ett fel upptäckts. Den enda metriken som QuickCheck ej lyckades uppfylla var att ge användaren funktionalitet vad gäller möjligheten att kunna hantera statistik från körningar.

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Acknowledgements

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We would like to show our appreciation to the following people that made this the- sis work possible and that have helped us in so many ways.

We would like to thank the executives, Erik Backlund, Mike Williams and Roger Holmberg, at the department for giving us the opportunity to perform this thesis work.

We would also like to thank our company supervisor Graham Crowe for his exper- tise in the area as well as his effort to give us all the valuable information needed to be able to perform the thesis work.

We would also like to show our appreciation to our examiner, Mariam Kamkar, for her support and professional approach.

We would also like to thank John Hughes and Thomas Arts for their lectures on QuickCheck, their interest in our work and the great support they have provided for us during the thesis work.

We would also like to thank all the employees at the department. Their accommo- dating manners and professionalism as well as their interesting and funny discussions have helped us maintain a healthy approach to the work being performed.

Finally we would like to show our appreciation towards our friends and families for them putting up with us during these intense months.

Andreas Granberg, Kista, 2007 Daniel Jernberg, Kista, 2007

Terms and definitions

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TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

3GPP, 3:rd generation partnership program: A collaboration agreement that brings together a number of telecommunications standards bodies to provide standards and specifications.

ASN1, Abstract syntax notation one: A standard notation in specifications that describes data structures for representation of encoding, decoding and transmitting data.

ATM, Asynchronous Transfer Mode: The data link layer protocol describing end-to- end logical connections where fixed cells are transferred.

BP, Board Processor: The processor on each interface board in the RBS responsible for handling the board signalling.

Bp, The Bp interface: The interface on which the Main processor communicates with the BP on the interface boards.

CCM, Cell configuration Management: The common and dedicated procedures speci- fied into a functionality suite by 3GPP for Cell Configuration Management.

CDMA, Code division multiple access: The method of transmission in the WCDMA network using shared channels.

CR, Change Request: The Change Requests written in response to issues discovered with the Radio Base Station software or the test framework.

CBR, Capability Report: A report extracted from the model to reflect a capability of the SUT.

CRNC, Controlling Radio Network Controller: The mode of the Radio Network Con- troller in which it is responsible for maintaining control of connections.

CTCM, Common Transport Channel Management: The common and dedicated proce- dures specified into a functionality suite by 3GPP for common transport channel management.

EP, Elementary Procedure: The basic NBAP procedures for calls against the SUT.

EUL, Enhanced Uplink: The new feature of WCDMA that provides an enhanced uplink for faster end user performance.

HSDPA, High Speed Data Packet Access: The new standardized evolution of WCDMA that will enable downlink speeds of up to 14 Mbps.

IE, Information Element: The most elementary information elements in an NBAP EP message.

IFHO, Inter Frequency Handover: A handover of a UE communication between differ- ent RAN frequencies.

Iub, The Iub interface: The interface defined by the NBAP protocol which connects the Node B and the RNC logically.

MBMS, Mobile Broadcast/Multicast Service: The RAN feature regarding broadcasting and multicasting to UEs.

MO, Managed Object: The Managed Objects in the SUT used to reflect the internal state of the SUT.

MP, Main Processor: The Main Processor in the RBS whose software we are verifying.

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Terms and definitions

MPSW, Main Processor Software: The software for the Main Processor in the RBS, which the implementation attempts to test.

NBAP, Node B Application Protocol: The protocol which the RNC adheres to in its communication with the RBS.

Node B: The 3GPP name for the base station in the WCDMA RAN architecture.

PDU, Elementary Procedure Definition: The definition in the NBAP specification of an EP’s content.

RAN, Radio Access Network: The telecommunications network architecture between the handset and the core network.

RBS, Radio Base Station: The Radio Base Station is the unit in the RAN on the Radio Network Layer that performs the main connection handling with the UE. The Radio Base Station is controlled by the RNC.

RLM, Radio Link Management: The 3GPP subset of functionality for handling radio links.

RNC, Radio Network Controller: The Radio Network Controller is the unit in the RAN responsible for controlling the RBSs in the RAN and providing connection to the core network.

SRNC, Signalling Radio Network Controller: The mode of the Radio Network Control- ler in which it is responsible for the transmission between handsets and the core network.

SUT, System under test.

TR, Trouble Report: The Trouble Reports written in response to found issues with the Radio Base Station software or the test framework.

TSG, Technical Specification Group: The groups in 3GPP responsible for suggesting, maintaining technical specifications for 3G and GSM networks.

UE, User Equipment: The user equipment in the RAN, usually a cell phone.

UTRAN, Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network: The communications network commonly known as 3G.

Uu, The Uu protocol: The protocol used by the RBS to transmit and receive data from a User Equipment.

Table of Contents

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 PURPOSE

 

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1.2 TASK

 

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1.3 LIMITATIONS

 

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1.4 GOALS

 

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1.5 DELIVERABLES

 

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2 CONTEXT OF APPLICATION

 

2.1 INTRODUCTION TO WCDMA

 

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2.2 IUB SPECIFICATION

 

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2.3 RADIO LINK MANAGEMENT

 

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2.4 ERLANG .

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2.5 TEST SETUP

 

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3 TESTING AND TEST FRAMEWORKS

 

3.1 FUNDAMENTALS OF TESTING

 

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3.2 POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TESTING

 

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3.3 WHITEBOX TESTING

 

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3.4 BLACKBOX TESTING

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3.5 TESTING WITH SHADES OF GREY

 

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3.6 SYSTEM SPECIFICATIONS

 

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3.7 SPECIFICATION BASED TESTING

 

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3.8 AUTOMATED TESTING

 

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3.9 REGRESSION

TESTING

 

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4 QUICKCHECK

 

4.1

PROPERTIES

 

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4.2

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4.3

STATE MACHINES

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4.4

SHRINKING

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4.5

COUNTEREXAMPLES

 

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5 ANALYSIS

 

5.1 CHOOSING FUNCTIONALITY TO TEST

 

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5.2 ELEMENTARY PROCEDURE DEPENDENCIES

 

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5.3 SPECIFICATIONS

 

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5.4 HOW TO UTILIZE QUICKCHECK

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5.5 STATE.

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5.6 GENERATION OF

TEST DATA.

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vii

Table of Contents

5.7 MODULARISATION CHOICES

 

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5.8 SIGNAL VERIFICATION AND MODIFICATION

 

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5.9 STATISTICS

 

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5.10 GENERATION-TIME AND

 

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5.11 FINDING METRICS

 

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6 IMPLEMENTATION

 

6.1 INITIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

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6.2 MODULARISATION

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6.3 GENERATORS

 

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6.4 GROUPING OF FUNCTIONALITY

 

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6.5 EVOLUTION OF STATE

 

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6.6 SYMBOLIC CALLS

 

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6.7 RETURNING PROPER VALUES

 

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6.8 STATISTICS

 

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41

6.9 SIGNAL VERIFICATION

 

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6.10 INTEGRATION INTO FRAMEWORK

 

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6.11 ISSUES DISCOVERED

 

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42

7 METRICS

7.1 COST

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7.2 CAPABILITY

 

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44

8 EVALUATION

 

8.1 COST

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8.2 CAPABILITY

 

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48

9 CONCLUSION

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51

APPENDICIES

APPENDIX A

LITERATURE LIST

 

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APPENDIX B

NBAP ASN1 SPECIFICATION EXAMPLES

 

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APPENDIX C

EXAMPLE OF SHRINKING

 

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APPENDIX D

INTEGRATION EXCERPTS

 

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APPENDIX E

ASN1 GENERATION

 

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List of Tables

viii

LIST OF TABLES

TABLE 4-1:

EXAMPLE DATABASE

 

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TABLE 8-1:

ESTIMATES FOR MBMS IMPLEMENTATION

 

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TABLE E-1:

ASN1

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60

ix

List of Figures

LIST OF FIGURES

FIGURE 2-1:

THE WCDMA ARCHITECTURE

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4

FIGURE 2-2:

RNC ROLES IN THE ARCHITECTURE

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FIGURE 2-3:

HANDOVER BETWEEN CELLS

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FIGURE 2-4:

SOFT AND SOFTER HANDOVER

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FIGURE 4-1:

TEST SETUP BASIC CONTROL FLOW OF THE STATE MACHINE

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FIGURE 6-2:

CODE BASE MODULE

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Outline

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OUTLINE

In the first chapter the reader will be introduced to the assignment that this thesis is based upon, the task as presented by the commissioner, the purpose, goals as well as the limitations. In the following chapter the reader will be introduced to the basics concepts of Uni- versal Terrestrial Radio Access Network for Wideband Code Division Multiple Access and especially the subset of the Radio Base Station functionality that the thesis work is based on. This chapter will also describe the standardized interfaces in play and how these have come to affect the thesis work. In the third chapter the reader will be introduced to the general concepts of testing that are necessary to be able to comprehend the subsequent chapters that discusses and relates the methodologies used in this thesis work to common testing methods. In the fourth chapter a fairly detailed description of QuickCheck will follow in which the reader will be presented with enough information about the software tool to be able to comprehend the choices being made while implementing the test cases for the thesis work. The fifth chapter contains an analysis of the problems that we were presented with during the thesis work. We will in detail describe the problems and will argue why the chosen solution is the preferred one. In the next chapter the reader will be able to follow our implementation of the issues described in the analysis chapter. The reader will also be able to understand the incremental growth of the code base for the implementation and the decisions being made with regards to that implementation. In the seventh chapter we will describe the metrics put forth that are needed to be able to compare testing using QuickCheck with conventional regression testing. We will in this chapter argue whether or not these metrics are of value or not. In the eight chapter we will follow up with an evaluation of these metrics and, in the ninth and final chapter, the reader will be able to discover our conclusions about the thesis work and the end result.

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1.

Introduction

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INTRODUCTION

This chapter will introduce the reader to the thesis work assignment. What the pur- pose of the assignment was, the main task as presented by the commissioner, the limi- tations, the goals as well as the deliverables will be described in detail.

1.1 PURPOSE

Comissioner of this thesis work is Traffic and Feature SW, a division of Ericsson, based in Kista, Sweden. This division of Ericsson is responsible for the design, systemi- sation, integration and verification of the software in Ericsson’s RBS’s. This division is separated into two smaller departments, one in Kista and one in Umeå which works in parallel to systemise, test and verify the software for the RBS. These two departments also works closely with another department called RBS System I&V which performs similar testing but on actual machines and not in the simulated environment that the aforementioned department does. As of today the testing of the MPSW at Traffic and Feature SW is performed using scripted regression test case suites that are run during nights at the department. The nature of the test environment will further be explained in a later section of the thesis called “Test Setup” on page 12. In this regression testing process the design of test cases is based on use cases and functional specifications which often covers test cases in a one-to-one fashion without much code reuse which makes the scripted regression test suites quite repetitive and hard to maintain. By using QuickCheck as a tool to automatically generate the elementary proce- dures, or EPs in short, from the Node B application protocol, NBAP in short, and sequences of NBAP EPs it might be possible to better model the system under test and be able to automate a greater deal of the testing being done today. By this, QuickCheck might be able to provide a richer variety of parameterization of these procedures, in theory increasing the possibility of finding faults that were not possible to find, prior to using QuickCheck. Traffic and Feature SW is therefore interested in a evaluation of QuickCheck to receive more information about how effective and cost efficient an integration of this tool can be in their test environment.

1.2 TASK

We were given the assignment to implement test cases for a subset of the MPSW functionality using QuickCheck and to integrate the resulting test cases into the test framework. By doing so the thesis work would prepare for a possible deployment of QuickCheck in the testing framework as well as provide best practice methods for dealing with issues that might occur during such a deployment. As part of the task we were to identify metrics to support the comparison between test cases implemented using QuickCheck and the scripted test cases used in the regression suites. The thesis would result in an evaluation of these metrics which should be able to provide the commissioner with enough information to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to go forth with further integration of QuickCheck as a tool for testing several subsets of the RBS software.

1.3 LIMITATIONS

The thesis work included implementing test cases using QuickCheck as a tool in the scope that was necessary to be able to provide a basis for the best practice document that was to be provided as a deliverable of the thesis work. The best practice report is more thoroughly described on page 2. This means that the subset of the functionality of the RBS that is the basis for the implementation using QuickCheck in no way needed to

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Introduction

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be covered fully by our implementation. Only that the implementation as such covered enough of the functionality to be able to provide the metrics as well as providing enough knowledge about test case development using QuickCheck to be able to pro- duce the best practice document. This also meant that it was not implied that further existing functionality that could be covered by test cases written using QuickCheck needed to be covered.

1.4 GOALS

This subsection describes the goals that were established as part of the thesis guide- lines. These goals have been established in coordination between us, the company supervisor and the company section supervisor. The goals are that we, after completion of the thesis work:

• Have delivered a best practice report that is sufficiently extensive to give Ericsson a proper guide for transititioning their test-environment towards using QuickCheck for testing subsets of the MPSW functionality.