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Graphs and Relationships

Designing Tests
Designing Tests

Graph is a fundamental testing tool. A lot of different graph-based models are used for testing, such as a control flow graph, data flow graph, call tree, state machine graph, and transaction flow graph. First of all, we will discuss abstract graphs to get acquainted with terminology that will be useful and unchangeable when considering any graphs.


Relationships: A certain relationship between objects. If A and B are objects, and R is a relationship between them, relation ARB means that A is related to B (under R) or A divides B. In order to denote a relationship, we will use italics, for example: A is related to B, Sam is Bill’s father, A calls B , the data object A is used to calculate values ​​for the data object B; the action A is followed by the action B. The task of testing is to make sure that all objects have the specified relationship with each other.


Graphs consist of a set of abstract objects and establish relations between these objects and specifications (presented, say, in the form of a list), indicating how and which objects are related.


Node. Objects in the graphs are called nodes. Nodes are represented by circles. The test task is to make sure that the graph has all the given nodes and nothing more.


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The name of the node. Each node has a unique name. If the objects are files, the node names can be file names; if objects are programs or program statements, the names of nodes can be program names or statement numbers, respectively. Neither the properties of the graph nor the properties of the objects represented in it depend on what names we give to nodes.


Weight of the node. Nodes can have properties. These refer to the weight of the node. As the node’s weight, we may use, for example: the program state, variable values, the function that describes which of several values ​​can be used to calculate something, the name of another object. The task of testing is to make sure that the nodes with a given weight have the expected weight.


Communication. The arrow or line that connects the nodes is used to illustrate the specific relationship between these nodes. For example, if the essence of a relationship is described as “A and B are brothers”, we connect A and B by a line to mark this fact.


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