Combinatorial testing in software projects IEEE Conference Publication

Higher order combinational testing has greater number of test cases, making the test more exhaustive but also more expensive as well as cumbersome. Moreover, most bugs are triggered by single input parameters or are caused by the interaction between two parameters. Bugs caused by interaction between three or more parameters are usually very uncommon and provide very less justification for the greater investment in searching for them. Accessible to undergraduate students and researchers in computer science and engineering, this book illustrates the practical application of combinatorial methods in software testing. Giving pointers to freely available tools and offering resources on a supplementary website, the book encourages readers to apply these methods in their own testing projects. The book introduces key concepts and procedures of combinatorial testing, explains how to use software tools for generating combinatorial tests, and shows how this approach can be integrated with existing practice.

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Performance testing examines how the software performs (normally "how fast") in various situations. You normally performance test various aspects of the software in differing conditions to learn about the overall performance characteristics. It can well be that certain changes will improve the performance results for some conditions and greatly What is combination testing degrade the performance for other use cases. And often the software can be coded to attempt to provide different solutions under different conditions. But trying to over-simplify performance testing removes much of its value. Another form of performance testing is done on sub components of a system to determine what solutions may be best.


If you want to perform combinatorial testing for your application, then you can simply use these test scripts for detailed evaluation. The test scripts can be modified according to our needs using numerous options available in the tool. Unlike other tools, Pairwiser provides a wide range of functionalities and features that one can explore in combinatorial testing. An administrator has full access to comment, edit, copy and add new plans to other projects. They also may add, remove and edit people's access rights on the project. If separate rights are desired for different test plans put those test plans in a separate project and define the access rights for that project as desired.

what is combinatorial testing

Access Rights define the actions someone you share a Hexawise project with is able to take. The rights are set at the project level, for all test plans in that project. The test scenarios result in that comes as a result of the above-mentioned tools can be inturn fed as an input to the test automation tools, thus speeding up the test design process. DevOps encourages Automation in all forms, and this is what a CTD tool precisely delivers by helping the QA engineer. It enables the team by using an automated fashion of producing an efficient test design. Using the CTD tool, you can quickly build a set of an optimized set of test cases, which can be served as an input to the test automation scenarios.

Mind Maps: Keep you a few steps ahead in Quality Engineering

Now, we can still reduce the combination further into All-pairs technique. The N-wise testing then would just be, all possible combinations from the above formula. Responsible QA engineers know the importance of test data in the development towards an efficient test automation framework.

what is combinatorial testing

Where configuration management and development professionals go for answers on SCM, ALM, change management, DevOps, tools and more. Bringing you today’s best agile ideas and thought-leaders with how-to advice on the latest agile development & methodology practices. Hexawise's Auto-Scripts feature creates detailed tester instructions from sets of optimized test conditions. Richard Kuhn is a computer scientist in the Computer Security Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology . He has authored or coauthored 2 books and more than 100 publications on information security, empirical studies of software failure, and software assurance, and is a senior member of the IEEE.

What is pairwise testing?

He has also worked in industry (AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories) and academia . Pairwise testing, also known as all-pairs testing is the method of finding defects by using a combinational method of two test cases. It relies on the observation that most defects are caused by interaction of at most two factors. Hence a pair of two test parameters are chosen and all possible pairs of these two parameters are sent as input parameters for testing purpose. Consider the scenario where you have test data stored in an excel file.

Detailed explanations and examples clarify how and why to use various techniques. Sections on cost and practical considerations describe tradeoffs and limitations that may impact resources or funding. While the authors introduce some of the theory and mathematics of combinatorial methods, readers can use the methods without in-depth knowledge of the underlying mathematics.

Mixed Strength Test Plan

A mathematical method as such should be heavily relied on considering that it has a high ROI by help saving time and help to find high-quality defects. Especially in the case of large-scale projects involving a large number of variables to be depended on for testing, CTD can help the organization a lot. The pairwise testing tool also offers the all-pairs solution for test design solutions, presenting a visualized test coverage view to the QA engineers. There are many TOOLS that adopted and integrated pairwise testing as one of the test generation methods. Combinatorial testing is actually a black box testing method, that is, you don't have access to the source code.

  • Responsible QA engineers know the importance of test data in the development towards an efficient test automation framework.
  • This tool is the simplest to use because we just have to write the test factors and constraints and the test configurations are generated.
  • Its test suit covers all combinations and therefore, it is not exhaustive yet very effective in finding bugs.
  • Now, we can still reduce the combination further into All-pairs technique.
  • The most common bugs in a program are generally triggered by either a single input parameter or an interaction between pairs of parameters.
  • Abstract—This paper presents a study comparing different techniques to achieve minimal test suites in combinatorial testing.

Combinatorial testing is a testing technique in which multiple combinations of the input parameters are used to perform testing of the software product. The aim is to ensure that the product is bug-free and can handle different combinations or cases of the input configuration. One of the most commonly used combinatorial testing methods is the pairwise testing technique which involves testing all pairs of input variable values. Software systems continuously grow in size and code complexity, the latter most evident through greater component interconnectedness. This leaves more space for bugs which introduce risks such as exposure to security threats.

Pairwise Testing

Nowadays, software systems are complex and can have multiple possible configurations, for example, an application can have multiple target operating systems, execute in various types of hardware, and in multiple resolutions. But also those applications can have multiple states which they are in. Pairwise testing is an effective test case generation technique that is based on the observation that most faults are caused by interactions of at most two factors. Pairwise-generated test suites cover all combinations of two therefore are much smaller than exhaustive ones yet still very effective in finding defects.

As a result, there is early and continuous delivery of quality products. In this section, we will be discussing some easy-to-use, free, and popular combinatorial testing tools. Rather than testing the software against a requirements document, a user tries the software based on their experience. A subject matter expert will often test the software as a representative of the business unit for which the software was created . Test case - the specific set of parameter values for each parameter to be used in a specific test.

The Different Types of QA Testers

However, In the case of CTD, if you use a tool that is based on the OA concept, it helps you derive tests based on N-pair interaction of variables, at the same time ensuring full coverage, with a few numbers of tests! The N-wise dimension of testing aims to test all the possibilities of all random combination of N variables’ values. Combinatorial Test Design is a technique that helps plan test data as input to the manual or automation test process, ensuring 100% test coverage based on the several combinations of test data inputs for a test suite. The mathematical concept of “Orthogonal Arrays” sits at the base of the combinatorial test design. A mathematician professor called Taguchi coined the mathematical algorithm term, Orthogonal Arrays. It helps design an optimized set of test cases that ensure 100% test coverage magically!


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