Improving Branch Coverage for White-box Testing IEEE Conference Publication

But it doesn’t matter which kind of coverage we utilize and how much coverage we achieve. In our scenario, the coverage percentage would be 83.3% since 5 lines are run out of the 6 total. Branch testing is done while doing white box testing, where the concentrate is given on code.

what is branch coverage in software testing

Interface requirements cover the interface between the software and its users. Usability and user acceptance testing techniques are used. D. It is a metric that give a true/false confirmation if all statements are covered or not. In our self-study guide we have included more detailed steps and hundreds of questions on whitebox test design techniques. Our study materials are updated based on the latest ISTQB Syllabus 2018. Both of these metrics (Statement Coverage and Brance/Decision Coverage) are important for ensuring that your test cases are thorough and that your code has been adequately tested.

Cons of branch coverage testing:

If we identify a test width that achieves 100% branch coverage, the same test width will also achieve, necessarily, 100% statement coverage. That’s what happens in general because branch coverage is a stronger criterion than statement coverage. There is no way to cover all the branches without covering all the statements. It’s not true that any test result satisfies statement coverage will also satisfy branch coverage.

what is branch coverage in software testing

Software testing metrics allow businesses to measure each step to ensure product quality keeps improving. C. It is a metric, which is used to calculate and measure the number of statements in the source code which have been executed by test cases that are passed. Test coverage is a metric used to measure the extent to which testing exercises the code i.e., how much of the code is ‘covered’ by the tests. However, this set of tests does not satisfy branch coverage since neither case will meet the if condition. It is important to note that depending on the generation method, random testing may not always be feasible.


], into which they incorporate constant seeding and the idea of using values mined dynamically as the application executes into the search space for specific branching statements. They implemented their approach in a tool called SWAT, Search-based Web Application Tester and evaluated its effectiveness. The first challenge of this work is in selecting a hardware mechanism for use in sampling. Again, there are a wide-range of hardware mechanisms to choose from, and many of these are supported for sampling use at the user and kernel levels.

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It won’t tell you much about the quality of the tests themselves. For instance, you could achieve 100% of branch coverage even if all of your unit tests didn’t contain assertions. Then, you’d be able to damage the production code, and all the tests would still pass. Branch coverage is an important metric in that it can help a team or organization assess whether an application has been tested to completion. A low branch coverage shows that there are scenarios in the application lacking testing. Such scenarios might contain defects that will only manifest in edge cases when the application makes it to production.

Why do we need branch testing?

This definition is not the same as branch coverage, however, the term decision coverage is sometimes used as a synonym for it. Branch coverage in software testing also known as decision coverage that is, each branch taken every way, genuine and false. It helps in approving all the branches in the code ensuring that no branch prompts abnormal behavior of the application.

  • For instance, path coverage implies decision, statement and entry/exit coverage.
  • Regardless of the kind of testing, tools like Ranorex Studio can help ensure you get the appropriate coverage to minimize risks and protect your software.
  • The target software is built with special options or libraries and run under a controlled environment, to map every executed function to the function points in the source code.
  • Tracking important metrics is a valuable way to get an objective assessment of many facets of software development, and testing is no different.
  • This criterion requires that every point of entry and exit in the program has been invoked at least once, and every decision in the program has taken on all possible outcomes at least once.

It measures the execution level of all statements in the source code. Statement coverage ensures that all statements are executed at least once, and that all lines of execution paths are covered. This helps ensure that all software bugs are found and fixed.

Branch Coverage: How It Differs From Similar Metrics

It’s important to note that achieving 100% coverage does not guarantee that your code is bug-free, but it does increase the likelihood that your code is working as intended. There are also some sorts of defects which are affected by such tools. 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. However, it does not expose any behavioral difference when comparing the output upon execution in both versions. As software regression is observable only for input that exposes a behavioral difference, we can conclude that even a path coverage-adequate test suite may not expose software regression.

But if you are comfortable with your line coverage, dive into branch coverage to really hone your testing practices. Altogether these two test cases executed all the possible branches with 50% branch coverage each. In the above code, 50% branch coverage is achieved by test case #1. Branch coverage and Statement Coverage are form of white box testing techniques. Lets the testing professionals assign the unassigned test cases, which were missed in other testing techniques in the software testing process.

4.1 Basic Structural Coverage

A combination of function coverage and branch coverage is sometimes also called decision coverage. This criterion requires that every point of entry and exit in the program has been invoked at least once, and every decision in the program has taken on all possible outcomes at least once. In this context, the decision is a boolean expression comprising conditions and zero or more boolean operators.

what is branch coverage in software testing

Edge coverage reports which branches or code decision points were executed to complete the test. They both report a coverage metric, measured as a percentage. The meaning of this depends on what form of coverage have been used, as 67% branch coverage is more comprehensive than 67% statement coverage. According to ISTQB Glossary, a Branch coverage is the percentage of branches that have been exercised by a test suite.

3 Branch Coverage

To have the optimal coverage percentage and techniques, you need to understand what your risks are and how they can be mitigated. To cover all the statements in the program, we have to execute minimum the following flows . To calculate Statement Coverage, find out the shortest number of paths following which all the nodes will be covered.

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