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Monday, August 2, 2010

Branch Coverage or Decision Coverage in White Box Testing

Code coverage analysis is the process of finding areas of a program not exercised by a set of test cases, creating additional test cases to increase coverage, and determining a quantitative measure of code coverage, which is an indirect measure of quality.
A Decision is a program point at which the control flow has two or more alternative routes. A decision coverage is the percentage if the decision outcomes that have been exercised by a test suite.
Branch coverage testing helps in validating of all the branches in the code and making sure that no branching leads to abnormal behavior of the application. It is a better practice as compared to statement coverage. It goes deeper into the code as compared to statement coverage.
It states whether the the boolean expressions are tested in control structures. It ensures for having adequate number of test cases for every program to ensure execution of every decision or branch at least once.

What are the advantages of branch coverage?
- To validate that all the branches in the code are reached.
- To ensure that no branches lead to any abnormality of the program’s operation.
- It eliminate problems that occur with statement coverage testing.

What are disadvantages of branch coverage?
- There may be other condition that can be used for decision making.
- This metric ignores branches within boolean expressions which occur due to short-circuit operators.

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