Code Coverage Tutorial: Branch, Statement & Decision Testing

If the age is less than provided value, that is 60, then the patient is not labelled as a senior citizen. And, if the condition is met and found to be true, then the patient can be marked as a senior citizen. The process of performing this evaluation in terms of the modular functionality, without any leakage, can be defined as the practice of the Decision Coverage validation. The Decision Coverage Testing is expected to be implemented on every single one line of the program, and identify the possible decision making stream in the codes. This track of code testing is known to be an important step in the application development and program building process.

Decision Coverage Evaluation acts as a crucial test coverage method as this code coverage method is one step above other coverage testing methods. It gives a better perception of the operations hidden under the program against the functionality that is expected by the client. As it can include the Boolean operations, it is most often chosen over the Branch coverage process. @Rogerio You are confusing the defition with condition coverage. In that example, you need the condition to be true to test the path) or false .

This definition is not the same as branch coverage, however, the term decision coverage is sometimes used as a synonym for it. Decision coverage analyzes statements that represent decisions in source code. Decisions are Boolean expressions composed of conditions and one or more of the logical C/C++ operators && or ||. Conditions within branching constructs (if/else, while, and do-while) are decisions.

definition of decision condition coverage

Here it is relevant to vary in the outcome of the decision, and in the outcomes of the conditions. Since there are only two possible outcomes of a decision , and there are only two outcomes of a conditon, test situations can be created in such a way that only 2 test situations per decision point are needed. Therefore coverage techniques are a great way to analyse and present the functioning of program in the light of specifications. Decisions are recursive in that a decision can contain decisions as in the last example above.

Hence, we will choose test numbers 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7 as our test cases. Condition coverage is also known as Predicate Coverage in which each one of the Boolean expression have been evaluated to both TRUE and FALSE. If the number of atomic conditions is higher, you just continue this approach and you will end up with N+1 test cases . If the analyzed relation is combined with the other atomic condition with an “AND”-relation, then we add a “1”, whereas with an “OR”-relation, we would add a “0”, to not change the complex condition outcome. Software Engineering Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professionals, academics, and students working within the systems development life cycle.

Independence of a condition is shown by proving that only one condition changes at a time. Comments about specific definitions should be sent to the authors of the linked Source publication. For NIST publications, an email is usually found within the document.

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The guidelines by which avionics gear is certified by the Federal Aviation Administration is documented in DO-178B and DO-178C. Assume this function is a part of some bigger program and this program was run with some test suite. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search. Jonathan Bowen and his co-author analyzed several variants of MC/DC and RC/DC and concluded that at least some MC/DC variants have superior coverage over RC/DC.

Fill in the rest of the cells in the table with a number of dots equal to the number of conditions in the decision. With all the other conditions in that test situation being given a neutral value. Every possible outcome of a condition is the determinant of the outcome of the decision at least once.

With Condition/Decision coverage the possible outcomes of each condition and of the decision are tested at least once. In other words we cover that all conditions are one time TRUE and one time FALSE and we cover one time the THEN and one time the ELSE. In order to demonstrate that the conditions Y and Z can independently affect the decision outcome, the condition X must be false for those test cases. If the condition X is true, then the decision is already known to be true.

That means, changing the value of the atomic conditions directly leads to a change in the result of the complex condition. I don’t think your first bullet point is correct; given 1 if statement, there’s 2 paths, not 1. If this block does not exist in the code, the coverage tool creates this block. There are also some sorts of defects which are affected by such tools. Fault injection may be necessary to ensure that all conditions and branches of exception-handling code have adequate coverage during testing.

A condition or predicate when evaluates to true must execute the next relevant line of code that follows. To measure what percentage of code has been executed by a test suite, one or more coverage criteria are used. These are usually defined as rules or requirements, which a test suite must satisfy. Test coverage was among the first methods invented for systematic software testing. The first published reference was by Miller and Maloney in Communications of the ACM, in 1963.

definition of decision condition coverage

Many testers are considering or already using test design techniques, allowing them to reduce the effort in testing and still gain a good insight in the quality of systems and software. Looking at the possibilities and the available literature, often a categorization is made, to ease up technique selection for specific situations. I have encountered two contradicting opinions related to path vs condition coverage (not branch or edge!).

Decision Coverage Testing

MC/DC requires that all possible states of each condition must be tested while keeping other conditions fixed. Moreover, the change in an individual condition must be shown to alter the result. Modified Condition/Decision Coverage (MC/DC) is a method used in software testing to test highly critical systems. However, when you add in a second if statement, as mentioned above, the number of paths will multiply – while each individual if statement stays at the same complexity.

  • Each condition in a decision is shown to independently affect the outcome of the decision.
  • A decision includes ‘any’ boolean expression, even for assignments to variables.
  • The percentage of all single condition outcomes that independently affect a decision outcome that have been exercised by a test case suite.
  • For example, if the outcomes are binary, you need to test both True and False outcomes.
  • Condition coverage offers better sensitivity to the control flow than decision coverage.

But we are not speaking about BRANCH but CONDITION coverage, which is not the same. Explore the possibility to hire a dedicated R&D team that helps your company to scale product development. The building blocks of TMAP give you all the guidance you need to meet the testing and quality challenges in your specific information technology environment. The idea of was born out of a belief that there should be no barriers in the path to achieving knowledge. Utilising the overwhelming inroads, which the internet has made in reaching the remotest of populations.

Advantages of MCDC Modified Condition Decision Coverage

Decision Coverage is a white box testing technique which reports the true or false outcomes of each boolean expression of the source code. The goal of decision coverage testing is to cover and validate all the accessible source code by checking and ensuring that each branch of every possible decision point is executed at least once. To widen the perspective of business testers, let us have a look at condition coverage as one of the so-called white box techniques.

definition of decision condition coverage

Then all the other conditions in that situation should be given a value that does not influence the outcome of the decision. This value is called the “neutral value” and is explained below. MCDC is the standard coverage type for the test design techniques Semantic Testing and Elementary Comparison Testing. Modified Condition Decision Coverage is a coverage type that makes sure every condition within a decision determines every possible outcome of that decision. This coverage type is a good combination of effectiveness and efficiency .

To achieve 100% condition coverage, your test cases need to demonstrate a true and false outcome for both conditions. For example, a test case where xis equal to 4 demonstrates a true case for both conditions, and a case where x is equal to 7 demonstrates a false case for both conditions. And for each alteration of your code, it verifies if the test actually fails. This is good indicator of the quality of your test suite and ensures that code is not just covered but your tests for the code are actually valid.

The resulting output is then analyzed to see what areas of code have not been exercised and the tests are updated to include these areas as necessary. Combined with other test coverage methods, the aim is to develop a rigorous, yet manageable, set of regression tests. However, what is wrong in the previous statement is the definition of decision. A decision includes ‘any’ boolean expression, even for assignments to variables. In this case, the three assignments should be treated as a decision for MC/DC purposes and therefore the changed code needs exactly the same tests and number of tests to achieve MC/DC than the first one.


I’m trying to get my head around the differences between these 2 coverage criteria and I can’t work out how they differ. I think I’m failing to understand exactly what decision coverage is. My software testing textbook states that compound decision coverage can be costly . Finite state machine coverage is certainly the most complex type of code coverage method.

The goal of condition coverage is to check individual outcomes for each logical condition. Condition coverage offers better sensitivity to the control flow than decision coverage. In this coverage, expressions with logical operands are only considered. Software authors can look at test coverage results to devise additional tests and input or configuration sets to increase the coverage over vital functions.

definition of decision condition coverage

Please try again later or use one of the other support options on this page. Test coverage is also a requirement in part 6 of the automotive safety standard ISO Road Vehicles – Functional Safety. Test coverage is one consideration in the safety certification of avionics equipment.

A Decision is a Boolean expression composed of conditions and zero or more Boolean operators. If a condition appears more than once in a decision, each occurrence is a distinct condition. Function coverage will be satisfied if, during this execution, the function foo was called at least once. It is also highly recommended for SIL 4 in part 3 Annex B of the basic safety publication and ASIL D in part 6 of automotive standard ISO 26262.

It is a misunderstanding that by purely syntactic rearrangements of decisions which do not change the semantics of a program can lower the difficulty of obtaining complete MC/DC coverage. Where Semantic testing focuses on testing individual decision points, Elementary comparison testing is used for testing functionality that consists of multiple decision points. Let’s understand this with an example, how to calculate statement coverage.

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