CONFORMED (Conformance Of Radiological/Medical Devices)
This project was conducted from October 2000 to September 2003 by Qian Bing
under the supervision of Ken
Turner. Funding was provided by the National Computing Centre.
The goal of the project was to define a method for specifying, analysing and
testing the functional and performance characteristics of radiotherapy
equipment used in oncology centres for cancer treatment. The project used LOTOS (Language Of Temporal Ordering Specification) as the
specification language. The project studied the characteristics of
radiotherapy machines, with a view to formally modelling them and then
deriving rigorous tests to evaluate their correct behaviour.
The purpose of the project was to create a safer environment for treatment
of patients by radiation machines. The main goals were:
to define a method for specifying the functional and performance
characteristics of radiotherapy equipment
to develop a method for deriving and applying rigorous tests of
radiotherapy equipment based on their specifications
- to develop prototype tool support for the methods
to demonstrate the methods and tools through realistic case studies.
The overall project approach was as follows:
Task 1. Survey
A literature and tools survey was carried out in the fields of formalising
(non-)functional requirements using LOTOS, conformance testing based on
LOTOS, radiotherapy equipment, and radiotherapy practices.
Task 2. Requirements Definition for Radiotherapy
Radiotherapy machines are quite different in functionality and
characteristics from most computer-controlled systems. It was necessary to
identify clearly the functions that radiotherapy machines perform and the
performance requirements that they must meet. The outcome of this task was
a high-level statement of requirements that can be specialised for any
particular radiotherapy machine.
Task 3. Formalisation of Functional and Performance
The requirements definition for radiotherapy machines was formalised using
LOTOS. The LOTOS community has already gained experience of specifying
medical devices. It was important, however, to describe performance
aspects of radiotherapy machines. The outcome of this task was a formal
specification in LOTOS of the functionality and performance expected of a
Task 4. Development of Testing Theory and Practice
The notion of conformance testing is well developed in data
communications. Formal methods for conformance testing have also been
investigated, including techniques based on LOTOS. The scientific
challenges facing the project are to adapt such approaches to the field of
radiotherapy, to devise testing techniques for LOTOS, and to develop a
means of testing performance based on LOTOS. The outcome of this task was
test suites derived from the formal specification of a radiotherapy
machine. Tools were developed for automated test derivation based on the
The following papers provide technical details of the work:
Kenneth J. Turner. Formally-Based Testing of
Radiotherapy Accelerators. In Robert N. Procter and Mark
Rouncefield, editors, Proc. Workshop on Dependability in
Healthcare, pages 97-99, Edinburgh, March 2001.
Kenneth J. Turner and Qian Bing. Systematic
Testing of Radiotherapy Accelerators. In Hartmut Ehrig, Berndt J.
Krämer and Atilla Ertas, editors, Proc. Integrated Design and
Process Technology (IDPT 02), pages 33.1-33.8, Society for Design
and Process Science, Grandview, Texas, USA, June 2002.
Kenneth J. Turner and Qian Bing. Protocol
Techniques for Testing Radiotherapy Accelerators. In Moshe Vardi and
Doron Peled, editors, Proc. Formal Techniques for Networked and
Distributed Systems (FORTE XV), Lecture Notes in Computer Science
2529, 81-96, Copyright Springer, Berlin, November 2002.
Kenneth J. Turner. Test Generation for
Radiotherapy Accelerators, Software Tools for Technology
Transfer, 7(4):361-375, Copyright Springer, August 2005.
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Last Update: 4th July 2008