Practical Pairwise Testing with PICT

Bj Rollison, Microsoft Corporation

Fault analysis reveals that interaction between the variables of dependent parameters is a common source of failure in complex systems. Imagine you are assigned to test a feature with twenty independent parameters and five possible states for each parameter. The total number of possible combinations is greater than five-hundred billion. At one test executed per millisecond, it would take more than 3,000 years to test all possible combinations. So, which combinations do we test? Pairwise testing is a systematic procedure to reduce the total number of tests by selecting a set of tests that evaluates every pair, rather than every combination. BJ Rollison compares the orthogonal arrays method to pairwise analysis and provides a detailed example of how to use PICT, a powerful, highly configurable combinatorial analysis tool that is freely available. Learn to systematically test complex interdependent parameters and improve your test coverage with fewer tests.

  • Advantages of pairwise testing over orthogonal arrays
  • A model file for smart pairwise analysis
  • Ways to measure the effectiveness of pairwise testing

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