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What does Path Testing mean?

Path Testing is a structured testing technique that relies on both algorithm and the program code, but does NOT on the software requirements specification document. It can be applicable at various levels of granularity.

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Suppositions of Path Testing:

  • Accuracy of the Specifications
  • Proper access to the well defined Data
  • Absence of defects / bugs that present in the system apart from those affecting control flow

Methods of Path Testing:

  1. Control Flow Graph – Conversion of The Software into Flow graphs by demonstrating the source code in the form of regions and nodes.
  1. Decision to Decision path – There is a possibility to break Control Flow Graph into different Decision to Decision paths and further to collapse it into individual nodes.
  1. Basis (independent) path – Independent or basis path is any path going through a Decision to Decision path graph that is impossible to reproduce from any other paths by means of other techniques.

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Program path testing process is considered to be accomplished when a coverage criterion is found and then fully implemented in the code. There are programs which can automate this process and analyze the program code as well as determine how many program paths must be tested and then calculate how many of them have been already tested. Such programs are called as execution coverage monitors.

Traditionally, during path testing it is not allowed to check the same path using different data.

Though coverage criteria are very useful, path testing cannot help to find all the program errors if used as the only verification technique. According to the experts, program path is sensitive to errors if the errors occur while it is executed.  

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