Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Test set generation and optimisation using evolutionary algorithms and cubical calculus
Author: Takhar, Jasbir S.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3496 3057
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2003
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
As the complexity of modern day integrated circuits rises, many of the challenges associated with digital testing rise exponentially. VLSI technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, in accordance with Moore's Law, posing evermore complex, NP-complete problems for the test community. The testing of ICs currently accounts for approximately a third of the overall design costs and according to the Semiconductor Industry Association, the per-transistor test cost will soon exceed the per-transistor production cost. Given the need to test ICs of ever-increasing complexity and to contain the cost of test, the problems of test pattern generation, testability analysis and test set minimisation continue to provide formidable challenges for the research community. This thesis presents original work in these three areas. Firstly, a new method is presented for generating test patterns for multiple output combinational circuits based on the Boolean difference method and cubical calculus. The Boolean difference method has been largely overlooked in automatic test pattern generation algorithms due to its cumbersome, algebraic nature. It is shown that cubical calculus provides an elegant and economical technique for solving Boolean difference equations. Formal mathematical techniques are presented involving the Boolean difference and cubical calculus providing, a test pattern generation method that dispenses with the need for costly circuit simulations. The methods provide the basis for test generation algorithms which are suitable for computer implementation. Secondly, some of the core test pattern generation computations outlined above also provide the basis of a new method for computing testability measures such as controllability and observability. This method is effectively a very economical spin-off of the test pattern generation process using Boolean differences and cubical calculus. The third and largest part of this thesis introduces a new test set minimization algorithm, GA-MITS, based on an evolutionary optimization algorithm. This novel approach applies a genetic algorithm to find minimal or near minimal test sets while maintaining a given fault coverage. The algorithm is designed as a postprocessor to minimise test sets that have been previously generated by an ATPG system and is thus considered a static approach to the test set minimisation problem. It is shown empirically that GA-MITS is remarkably successful in minimizing test sets generated for the ISCAS-85 benchmark circuits and hence potentially capable of reducing the production costs of realistic digital circuits.
Supervisor: Gilbert, Daphne ; Porteous, Hugh ; Davies, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available