Exhaustive Testing

Testing all possible scenarios (all permutation and combination of functionalities) is called exhaustive testing. Exhaustive testing is usually done when the programs and the scope of project is small. For bigger projects exhaustive testing is impractical and is not used. Exhaustive testing is time consuming and costly, thus it has only theoretical significance.

Exhaustive testing is usually impossible, there are a few possible options that can help when applied either individually or in combination with each other:

When testing is used as a technique to establish a property, the property of interest determines in large part the number of tests required. This is the case no matter whether the goal is to establish properties in a statistical sense or in the sense of a proof using exhaustive testing. By careful definition of the property and by the application of a technique called specification limitation, we have been able to prove a number of significant properties of a large software system by exhaustive testing.

Exhaustive testing is infeasible. However, this infeasibility is a direct result of the goal of testing for overall functional correctness. In considering the general issue of how safety-critical systems might be tested, we have concluded that a different view of testing is required.


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