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Boundary Value Analysis

Boundary value analysis is a technique, to design a test case where we create three different partitions two invalids and one valid. This testing technique is based on the fact, that no value should be accepted other than the range of value which is acceptable.

Below we shall see an example of a boundary value analysis. Let us take that, the value range from 10-15 is an acceptable value. Now we create a minimum value partition that is, [min-1], which is invalid. The next is [10 to 15], which is valid, and next is [max+1] which is again invalid.

Below we shall see a representative diagram which will make the idea more clear.


Now, as shown in the diagram, the value which is between the valid range will be accepted and the value which is in both the invalid states, are not accepted.

Here, the minimum boundary is 10 and the maximum boundary is 15.

For example, TestCase 1: Enter the value to be checked: 10 (accepted)

TestCase 2: Enter the value to be checked: 9 (10-1) (not accepted or invalid)

TestCase 3: Enter the value to be checked: 16(15+1) (not accepted or invalid)

The significance of boundary value testing lies mainly in stress testing and negative value testing. Generally, we deal with the testing, in which we give inputs are expect the desired output.

But in this case of boundary value analysis, we are more concern about the behavior of the software in the negative results also.

In boundary value analysis, it is easier to find the defects in the boundaries, as the density of defects is more in the boundaries.

Also, it saves the overall time of execution and also less test data is required. This is because of the fact, that there are partitions which can directly make the response, as the data are ready-made for the invalid inputs as well.

In may be noted that, BVA technique is easy to use because of the small test cases and the uniformity. And for this reason, the test can be made automated which is much more reliable, when the software needs to be tested is comparatively small.

In the BVA testing technique, it becomes possible to estimate the expenditure by having control over identified test cases. This approach works fine when made to work in software testing, which uses variables of physical quantities.

The main peak point of using boundary value analysis technique is that test cases are small as equivalence classes are created.

Not only advantages, but there are disadvantages as well in case of the boundary value analysis.

The accuracy of the testing solely relies on the fact that, while choosing the equivalence class, more intensive care has to be taken, or the test will go wrong entirely. That is, correct identification of the classes should be done, for good results.

It is important to note that, in the case of values of partitions which does not have values in the one-dimensional ranges are not at all good to analysis with the help of boundary value analysis. As it is difficult to define equivalence class where the input data is represented multidimensional.

In such cases, it is advisable to use the Domain Analysis to operate on such data which is represented with more than one dimension.

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