The Most Detailed and Unmissable Guide to Basis Path Testing

Basis Path Testing

A Complete Understanding of Basis Path Testing

We have time and again spoken about the significance and inevitability of software testing during software development as well as the real-life runtime lifecycle. One of the key processes associated with the testing procedure is Path testing. It is most often used in designing a test case. Path testing is defined as a structural testing technique that uses the program’s source code to identify every possible executable path. This helps determine all the errors and bugs underlying the program along a defined program route. However, today, we will delve deeper into a trajectory of path testing known as the basis path test and its nuances. 


What is Basis Path Testing?

Basis path testing often referred to as structured testing, is a white box testing method (testing the software’s internal programming, structure, etc.) used to design test cases. It is performed based on the control-flow graph or logical path that executes and runs test cases through all possible paths or routes of the program or module. This type of structured testing is used to design and execute test cases across all possible paths. This covers 100 percent of the module or program and even its tertiaries, that too with the most limited number of test cases.

Basis path testing is basically a hybrid test mechanism involving path testing and branch testing. It offers full-branch test coverage without requiring a large number of test cases.

Cyclomatic complexity in brief

Cyclomatic complexity is a quantitative software metric to determine the number of independent paths as well as the complexity of the program. It is also a source code complexity unit that is corresponded to diverse coding errors. It is computed by generating a control-flow graph of the codes measuring the linearly independent paths.

What are the Steps for Basis Path Testing?

While performing a basis path testing, you need to follow the following steps:

  • Outlining a control flow graph to recognize the conceivable program paths.
  • Using cyclomatic complexity to compute the number of independent paths in the program.
  • Specify the assemblage of basis paths to test.
  • Generating test cases to analyze the program course for individual paths.

Benefits of Basis Path Testing

Given its extensive test coverage, basis path testing is one of the most preferred path testing methodologies. Here are some of the key benefits that software developers and testers experience with this white box test method:

  • Greater coverage – Basis path testing undoubtedly offers the maximum test coverage using the least number of test cases. Owing to the fact that it focuses on covering the logic rather than just the paths. 
  • Validates other white-box tests – It is a white box testing methodology. This is often used as a core test to validate and reassure the remaining white-box tests.  
  • Tests the logic – It tests the logic of the program along with corroborating the other white-box tests. Hence, you can eliminate code-testing.
  • Reduces test redundancy – It helps in minimizing the number of redundant tests. Thus reducing the chances of any deadlocks in the software or application.
  • Unveils hidden bugs – Owing to the design of the tests cases for this type of testing, it is highly effective in identifying hidden bugs and errors in the coding in the program.
  • Acts as maintenance testing – It is a fundamental test used to test the continuous iterations made in the coding during the software development lifecycle.
  • Facilitates integration testing – When one module needs to be integrated with another, chances of interface errors shoot up. Basis path testing minimizes such possibilities ensuring a smooth integration.
  • Testing effort – This testing automatically takes the software complexity into account while calculating the cyclomatic complex. Hence, this testing effort directly proportional to the program’s complexity.

Wrapping up

This test is highly effective in identifying the independent paths and the hidden coding errors in a source code. It capacitates analytical test case design instead of discretionary test case design, making it all the more favored by the software development and testing community. Its straightforward objectives to eliminate testing redundancy and accuracy in finding hidden coding errors make it so simple yet ingenious.